On 27 April 2019 South Africa celebrates Freedom Day for the 25th time.
This day in 1994 saw South Africans going to the polls for the first post-apartheid elections, ushering in our first democratic dispensation. Freedom did not come cheaply and without sacrifice. NAPTOSA leadership therefore calls on members to be protective of, and treasure, this freedom, because in many respects it is under attack.
When more than 27% of the workforce is unemployed, freedom is at risk. When corruption is endemic in government and its administration, freedom is compromised. When crime is so high that the murder rate is described as “bordering a warzone”, you know that freedom is under threat.
Over and above these general issues that loom large in the lives of educators as citizens, they have to deal with a constant assault on “freedom” in their profession. Violence permeates our school environments. Hardly a day goes by without a report of violence in a school, often directed at teachers. Ill-discipline and disrespect by (some) learners dampen the enthusiasm of many teachers to teach with freedom and is one of major contributing factors for teachers leaving, or wanting to leave, the profession. This is further exacerbated by the excessive administrative burden placed on educators by national and provincial education policies.
NAPTOSA vows to keep up the fight to correct these ills in the profession, but the ills in the country can only be addressed through the ballot box. Members are therefore encouraged to use their hard won political rights and to participate in the general election on 8 May 2019 by voting for the party that best represent their interests.
As a union, NAPTOSA remains committed to contributing to a better life for all in our country, especially a better life for our members and an effective education system.