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MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT OF NAPTOSA MR BASIL MANUEL, IN PRETORIA ON THURSDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2013 ON THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

 

Mr Basil Manuel, the President of NAPTOSA (National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa),  commenting on President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, to Parliament on 14 February, said in Pretoria today that, whilst there was little in the address that was contentious, NAPTOSA has welcomed several aspects highlighted by President Zuma.

The emphasis on the development of the infrastructure in vast sections of the country is critical and NAPTOSA welcomes the proposed provision of 98 new schools  by end of March 2013. That 40 of these schools will be built in Eastern Cape is applauded as this province has the largest number of mud schools in the country, said Mr. Manuel. He added that there is still much to be done in respect of school infrastructure.

Mr Manuel said that government’s call to state owned companies to increase apprenticeships and learnerships, and the appeal to the  private sector for placement of 11 000  FET graduates is supported by NAPTOSA.

NAPTOSA welcomes the establishment of a national task team to strengthen the implementation of the Mathematics, Science and Technology Strategy by the Department of Basic Education. Mr. Manuel said that the recent ANA and TIMMS results indicates unquestionably that more needs to be done to improve learner performance  in mathematics , science and technology .

Mr Manuel stated that NAPTOSA supports the principle that ECD is crucial for continued schooling, and is concerned that not all children who are eligible have access to Grade R. NAPTOSA is pleased with the growth of early childhood education programmes, including Grade R. He added that we are also pleased with the Khari Gude, adult education programme, which has reached more than 2,2 million people between 2008 and 2011.

The clarity provided by the President Zuma, regarding the issue of education being an “essential service”, is welcomed and supported, Mr Manuel said. NAPTOSA is pleased that educators Constitutional and labour right to strike has not been eroded.

In concluding Mr Manuel said that, NAPTOSA supports the view that education is a societal issue and that collective commitment is needed to turn our schools into centres of excellence. Prioritising the review of the remuneration and conditions of service of educators will definitely play an important role in attracting, motivating and retaining skilled teachers.