NAPTOSA celebrates its 10th year as a Union in 2016. The union has been serving South African Education since 1904 through its legacy organisations, which merged to form the professional union National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA).
On 18-19 August 2016, NAPTOSA: KwaZulu-Natal held its elective conference and celebrated ten years as an amalgamated union.
This august occasion saw Dr Anthea Cereseto, the President of NAPTOSA and Bishop Mike Vorster of the Methodist Church (keynote speaker) addressed the theme of the conference, “NAPTOSA ponders: Is the system ailing?” . In addressing the four hundred and fifty delegates, Dr Cereseto asked of the house to ponder the following as educators, that “who was the system and why was it failing?, and noted that educators were also part of the ailing system and hence the “pressure on educators to do something if the system is ailing”. Dr Ceresto reminded the NAPTOSA educators that they as a collective were a powerful force in the education sector and are agents of transformation. The Rev. Vorster discussed the “ailing system” in the context of South African society.
Both speakers also addressed the issue of gender equality and encouraged all women to prepare themselves to lead in the sectors they serve. Both alluded to the unfair discrimination capable women are still subjected to in our society despite the many stride the country has made. The Reverend also reaffirmed that even religious scripture encourages gender equity and equality.
Rev Vorster raised issues of latent racism, institutionalized racism and its contribution to the “ailing system”. He also raised concern of the “greed for land, that profits trump the needs of the people, where mining houses displace people, rape the land and poison water sources. He reminded the delegates that people were only the stewards of the land and that they had a responsibility take care of, “soil, soul and society” for a more just society.
The second day of the conference saw a panel, led by Dr Cereseto, Dr Barney Mtembu and Mrs Nella Singh, address the topic, “Assessments: The Bane of an Educator”. The encroachment of the roles of the provincial and national education department has seen the Unions in education resist. This session reaffirmed the problems the educator faces in respect of externally imposed assessments.
Ms Nompumpelelo Runji, addressed the conference on, “I am not a racist but…….” wherein she highlighted the issue of “colour blindness” that has supposedly replaced racism in the form of “blindness to racial issues”. She reflected on institutionalised and systemized exploitation of the poor and of the unequal playing fields that exist.
It was important to note that all speakers address the “power that teachers had in shaping the young minds and the leaders of tomorrow”.
In addition to the speeches the conference dealt with business of the Union that included provocative motions that will be addressed with the Department of Basic Education.
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Enquiries: Mr Anthony Pierce (082 8551631)