NAPTOSA salutes the teachers and youth of 1976 for their contribution to changing the political course and education in South Africa.

As NAPTOSA celebrates 10 years as a Union, the country commemorates the 40th anniversary of the June 16 uprising. On June 16, 1976, more than 15 000 students gathered at Orlando West Secondary School with the intention of participating in a peaceful march to Orlando Stadium, to protest against the decree issued by the Bantu Department of Education that imposed the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction at schools.

The teachers and youth of 1976, lacking fluency in Afrikaans, experienced first-hand the negative impact of the new policy in the classroom. Learners who looked forward to good academic performance saw how the implementation of the new medium of instruction policy and subsequent firing of African teachers who refused to implement it, negatively affected their academic performance. A peaceful march turned violent and set in motion a shift in South African politics both locally and internationally.

What lessons can the class of 1976 teach us today?

-  Passion for academic excellence displayed by the class of 1976 is something the youth of today can emulate.
- Teacher Professional Activism and the right to teach with dignity displayed by the African teachers of 1976 who refused to implement a policy that undermined their   profession is something that teachers of today should imitate.
- Implementation of education policies without consultation of all relevant stakeholders can have a negative impact on the future of our country.
- To move education forward, South Africa needs a teacher organisation that is not party politically aligned such as NAPTOSA.
- Education remains the most powerful weapon for transformation.

NAPTOSA salutes the teachers and class of 1976.

Serving education since 1904
Celebrating 10 years of service excellence to education in 2016