Following NAPTOSA’s NEC meeting of 12 and 13 June 2018, and certain media reports, the following statement on a number of pertinent issues is hereby issued:
Violence in schools
The last few weeks have seen a spike in incidents of violence in the school environment, both against learners and educators. NAPTOSA wishes to add its voice to those of others who have roundly condemned these acts. We have repeatedly requested the Minister to address this issue – it can no longer wait.
NAPTOSA also calls on MEC’s of Education Departments in those provinces where these incidents have occurred to act decisively against the perpetrators. It has been noted that some of these MEC’s tend not to act with the same fervor when educators are on the receiving end of violence by learners as they are in converse situations. It is time that the employer value and protect their employees.
This is another extremely worrying phenomenon that keeps on escalating. Although schools have to deal with the matter, it is a broader societal problem that will only abate through the co-operation and a concerted effort of Education Departments, schools and the parent community. Research has shown that many of these pregnancies are not peer related, but more than often involve adults from the community. Parents, in particular, must take up the responsibility of protecting their girl children against these ruthless individuals.
NAPTOSA believes that educators who violate the safe school environment by preying on girl learners must feel the full might of disciplinary or even criminal action.
Burning of schools
NAPTOSA is angered that schools have once again become the target when communities wish to express their dissatisfaction with whatever issues they have. Destroying state property, be it by burning schools, or through other actions such as cable theft, is to impoverish the nation and to deprive children of the single most important way of escaping what is often dire circumstances.
These criminal acts are in many respects treason-like, because it is a direct attack on the state and society, and should be punished in the harshest possible manner.
NAPTOSA understands the frustrations of communities but calls on all involved in protest action to respect the property of schools.
NAPTOSA is concerned about the effect of the recent fuel hikes on the lives of members. Although the negotiated salary increase could to some extent help to absorb the impact of these fuel hikes, NAPTOSA believes that it could have largely been averted had government not, through bad management and corruption, depleted our country’s oil reserves. Now would have been the time to use the stockpiles to buffer the effect of the increasing oil price. Even in the period when the oil price was low, government seems not to have put any contingency plans in place to replenish our oil reserves.
ESKOM wage dispute
NAPTOSA calls on government to intervene as a matter of urgency in the wage dispute in ESKOM. Our country can ill afford to have power disruptions at this time when the economy is battling to recover and when the vulnerable members of society are at their most vulnerable (winter).
NAPTOSA trusts that parties will find an amicable solution.
History as a compulsory subject
NAPTOSA has noted the report of the Task Team that investigated this matter. We have serious reservations about the proposal that history should become a compulsory subject, especially in the FET phase. Not all learners have an aptitude or appetite for history. To force learners who are in the final preparatory phase of their school career to rake on another compulsory, content-based, subject is beyond comprehension.
Surely it is possible for learners to be sufficiently inducted into the history of the country by completion of Gr 9. Those who have an interest in the subject can then, by choice, continue with it in the FET phase.
NAPTOSA has no unease about the proposal to give history, as a subject, a more Afro-centric base. It is just a pity that nothing was done the past 20 + years to ensure a smooth transition from the Euro-centric to an Afro-centric approach.
SAFTU ATTACK ON WAGE AGREEMENT SIGNATORIES
According to media reports the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has labelled the public service wage agreement a “sweetheart” deal because the COSATU unions have an untenable relationship with their employer. To call it such, whilst NAPTOSA also signed the agreement out of conviction that there was no more to be extracted from the negotiations and that if strike action was to be embarked on, it would have required protracted strike action (which members were not in favour of), is just plain mischief. One thing that NAPTOSA can never be accused of is that it is a sweetheart union of the employer or government.
Rather than criticizing others, SAFTU should look inward into its own actions. It was reported that at the conclusion of the negotiations the federation instructed the public service unions affiliated to them, not to sign the agreement. This means that the individual unions were not allowed to express their own positions.
Members should be mindful of SAFTU’s allegations regarding the public service wage negotiations because it is clearly an attempt to extract mileage from a process that they were not part of.
NAPTOSA wishes our Muslim members and their families a blessed Eid.
Soccer World Cup
NAPTOSA trusts that the football fans among members will enjoy the Soccer World Cup in Russia over the next month.