Joint statement by Basic Education Crisis Committee (YCLSA, SASCO, COSAS, SADTU, UNIVERSITY SRC AND SAGDA), 16 September 2010
1. The YCLSA, SASCO, COSAS, SADTU, SAGDA and COSATU met today together with the Department of Basic Education and Unisa SRC to discuss the current crises in education relating to the writing of school examinations. We view the current crisis not only as a crisis of Grade 12, but that it affects the entire schooling system, and has dire consequences even for higher education entrance, and thus, it constitutes a national crises of unknown proportions which requires special attention by the Alliance, cabinet and all of society.
2. We are aware of the fact that there has been no learning and teaching in some schools in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo and Gauteng. We believe that these protests have been legitimate as there was time lost in terms of learning and teaching, especially in black schools. We also believe that learners who wrote their pre-examinations tests (trial examinations) in schools that were affected by the public sector strike last month have potential not to perform well, and thus affecting their final examination results.
3. The organisations resolved that there should be immediate restoration of the culture of learning and teaching in all schools from tomorrow. We resolved that no learner should be forced to write their trial examinations pending a discussion between SADTU, COSAS and the Department of Basic Education. We also supported the call by COSAS for the introduction of 2 additional hours of teaching time, Saturday as a normal school day, the complete scrapping of the September holidays and the postponement of the trial examinations and the final examinations by one week.
4. The Basic Education Crises Committee (BECC) resolved on approaching the president to set up a high level ministerial team to look into the crisis and discuss the proposals made above. We believe that all of these can only be resolved through political leadership at the highest level, and therefore the co-ordination of all involved sectors and structures will be critical.
5. In the same vein, we will be participating in the intervention programme initiated by the Department of Basic Education by mobilising volunteer tutors from universities, unemployed graduates and teachers, and members of SADTU who want to volunteer. We must turn every open space into learning and teaching centres in order to ensure that learners recover from lost time.
6. We have set-up a secretariat team that will be involved into further negotiations with the Department of basic education and training to negotiate a new date for examinations and explore the possibilities of that proposal.
For more information please contact:
Gugu Ndima (YCL Spokesperson) 0767831516
Lazola Ndamase (SASCO Secretary General) 0826798718
Sbonelo Shezi (COSAS DeputySecretary Genera) 0838948001
First published in Cosatu Today Friday 17 September 2010