Joint statement by Basic Education Crisis Committee 2

The national education crisis

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

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2 thoughts on “Joint statement by Basic Education Crisis Committee

  • Chris Reay

    Another discussion, more committees, another lot of admirable intents, more rhetoric, another bandaid…..followed by the usual feeble or no really effective action. Guess why?
    From the advent of Bengu, OBE, lack of discipline, letting unions wreak their normal havoc and politically ridding the education system of established intellectual capital, it’s probably been decimated beyond repair.
    The new boys on the block in 1994 throught it was easy to change from applying proven necessary conditions.

  • Des Squire

    Point one – No learning and teaching is quite common and does not need to be motivated by strike action.
    Point two – so many of our learners do not understand what a culture of learning is – can someone explain they are supposed to study and attend school.
    Point three – who are you to decide who may or may not write exams?
    Point four – very few committedd solve any problms so I cannot see this one being any different. Individuals must solve this problem and one way is to get rid of all student bodies and let children go back to bing children and do the things children do.
    Point four – since some children do not go to school mondy to Friday, how do you think you will get them to go for two hours on Saturday or in school holidays. The depatment of education must take back ownership of education and ban COSAS, SADTU etc. etc