The President of National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), Dr Anthea Cereseto, commenting on media reports on all platforms into the allegation of racism at Pretoria High School for Girls and other schools, stated that schools are microcosms of society and as such reflect the challenges and discourse of the day.
Dr Cereseto stated that NAPTOSA acknowledges the existence of subtle, structural and institutionalised racism within our society, which necessitates the urgent need for greater dialogue on racism at all levels.
NAPTOSA denounces all forms of discrimination, including racism and calls on all teachers to exercise professional judgement and reminds teachers that common sense should inform their decisions and actions at all times. “NAPTOSA believes that the needs and welfare of all learners to be of paramount importance. Teachers should bear in mind that we do not teach lesson plans or intellectual challenges, rather we teach human beings”, said Dr Cereseto.
“NAPTOSA is encouraged that learners have exercised their Constitutional rights and exposed what they deemed discriminatory”, said Dr Cereseto. This clearly indicates the need for dialogue at school level. NAPTOSA, therefore, calls on schools to listen and engage actively with learners on such matters, to prevent it escalating to levels of petitions and resolution via the media.
Dr Cereseto stated that NAPTOSA supports all teachers who serve and educate learners with equal dedication, irrespective of gender, race, culture, religion, political affiliation, intellectual capacity and sexual orientation. NAPTOSA further recognises the difficulties and responsibilities that teachers have to deliver an enabling curriculum so that learners are able to develop their skills, knowledge, values and attitudes in this changing environment.
In light of the current situation, NAPTOSA supports the decision made by Gauteng MEC for Education, Mr Panyaza Lesufi, that all schools in Gauteng should review their School Code of Conduct and practices to reflect, respect and protect the rights of every individual in our communities as laid out in the Constitution of South Africa, stated Dr. Cereseto.
Dr Cereseto added that NAPTOSA welcomed the offer by the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Mr Solly Msimanga, to create a platform for dialogue that will facilitate social cohesion in schools and communities. “NAPTOSA believes that Governing Bodies, teachers and learners are well positioned to drive social cohesion through the process of reviewing the Schools Code of Conduct”, said Dr Cereseto.
Dr Cereseto acknowledged and applauded the role of NAPTOSA members who uphold the dignity of our chosen profession and the responsibility entrusted in us in ensuring the holistic education of each child in our care.
End of statement
30 August 2016
Enquiries: President: Dr Anthea Cereseto (082 610 5756)
                   Executive Director: Mr Basil Manuel (079 508 6228)