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Response to the National Evaluation and Development Unit Report (NEEDU)

RESPONSE TO the NAtional EDUCATION Evaluation and Development unit (NEEDU) –Release of the “NATIONAL REPORT 2012” on 02 may 2013


Commenting on the release of the NEEDU “NATIONAL REPORT 2012”, the President of NAPTOSA (National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa) Mr Basil Manuel, said in Pretoria today that, NAPTOSA has welcomed the NEEDU-“NATIONAL REPORT-2012”, which focussed on the state of literacy teaching and learning in the Foundation Phase in South African Public schools.

NAPTOSA is troubled by the great deficiencies the study has revealed. Mr Manuel has highlighted some of the reported problems plaguing the South African schooling system:

·         Teacher and learner late coming, not going to class promptly or not at all;

·         High rate of teacher absenteeism;

·         Poor or lack of training of school principals;

·         Poor teacher subject knowledge in the teaching of basics in literacy and numeracy;

·         Poor reading and writing skills; and

·         Lack of appropriate “mathematics language” for home language learners.

Mr Manuel said that NAPTOSA endorses the recommendations of the report in the quest for improved schooling. He emphasised the following NEEDU recommendations:

·         Teacher capacitation at both PRESET and INSET levels to develop reading, literacy and English proficiency;

·         That school managers be trained to lead curriculum delivery;

·         That DBE  commission the writing of graded sets of reading material for use in the Foundation Phase;

·         Improve proficiency of learners and teachers both LOLT and FAL; and

·         That DBE workbooks be assessed against the curriculum and amended where required.

Mr Manuel added that functional schools begin with principals who have a “professional conscience”; hence NAPTOSA supports the call for the skilling and support of education managers (school principals, circuit mangers and subject advisors). It is time education managers took control of holistic developments at schools to ensure institutional functionality. .

NAPTOSA also embraces the recommendation of re-evaluating the teacher in-service training model in favour of a longer term extraction and immersion model, said Mr Manuel. He also added that the NAPTOSA supports any initiative that will enhance the professionalisation of the civil service.

NAPTOSA whilst agreeing with the Minster on the notion that the role of the school inspectors has been “romanticised”, disagrees that the current district officials serve the same oversight role, said Mr Manuel

In concluding, Mr Manuel said that NAPTOSA sees this NEEDU report as the first of many towards a more accountable South African education system.