DA, Sadtu clash over ma­tric re­sults

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - KHAYA KOKO

A WAR of words has erupted be­tween the DA and the South African Demo­cratic Teach­ers Union (Sadtu) fol­low­ing this week’s re­lease of the 2016 ma­tric re­sults.

The DA launched a scathing at­tack on Sadtu for poor per­for­mances in the Eastern Cape (59.3 per­cent pass rate), Lim­popo (62.5 per­cent) and KwaZu­luNatal (66.4 per­cent), and its ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son in Par­lia­ment, Gavin Davies, has put the blame squarely at the door of Sadtu.

“It is no co­in­ci­dence that the worst-per­form­ing prov­inces in ma­tric 2016 were those where Sadtu is most dom­i­nant. The pro­vin­cial ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments in the Eastern Cape, Lim­popo and KwaZulu-Na­tal were all found by the min­is­te­rial task team in its ‘jobs for cash’ re­port to have been cap­tured by Sadtu,” said Davies.

He stood by these state­ments when asked for com­ment by The Star, as­sert­ing that the union uses its po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tions to in­flu­ence teacher ap­point­ments.

“Sadtu also uses its in­flu­ence to block ac­count­abil­ity mea­sures such as per­for­mance con­tracts for prin­ci­pals and the pro­fes­sional li­cens­ing of teach­ers. The ever-present threat of a Sadtu stay­away is an­other hin­drance to hold­ing poor-per­form­ing schools to ac­count.”

Sadtu gen­eral sec­re­tary Mug­wena Maluleke has re­jected Davies’s views as those of an “ar­ro­gant white su­prem­a­cist racist” who does not want to ac­knowl­edge the bru­tal legacy of apartheid.

“We must not for­get that Lim­popo, in par­tic­u­lar, had three home­lands – Le­bowa, Venda and Gazankulu. None of those home­land gov­ern­ments, in­clud­ing the apartheid gov­ern­ment, built a proper school in the ru­ral ar­eas. In­fra­struc­ture is a huge prob­lem. The Eastern Cape and KZN also have a sim­i­lar his­tory,” Maluleke said.

On the “jobs for cash” al­le­ga­tions, Maluleke was firm that none of them had been proved in a court of law.

“The only prov­ince that was re­ally af­fected by this ‘jobs for cash’ was KZN, with only five cases, and we have said that those peo­ple should be taken to court and be dealt with.

“But these cases are dif­fi­cult even to bring to court. We, as Sadtu, must work with other unions and the Depart­ment of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion to root out is­sues of cor­rup­tion.”

Pro­fes­sor Elias Mathipe, of Unisa’s depart­ment of ed­u­ca­tion, said the DA was cor­rect in rais­ing is­sues of cor­rup­tion, but should not blame Sadtu for some of the poor per­for­mances found in the three prov­inces.

“(The year) 2016 was a peace­ful school­ing year where Sadtu mem­bers did not dis­rupt learn­ing like it was done in the past. Also, the cur­ricu­lum which was in­tro­duced about three years ago (Caps) has sta­bilised, and teach­ers are begin­ning to un­der­stand the re­quire­ments of the syl­labus,” Mathipe said.

He con­curred with Sadtu’s view that apartheid’s legacy con­tin­ued to stymie the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, adding that the three worst-per­form­ing prov­inces had sig­nif­i­cantly more ma­tric can­di­dates than other prov­inces.

VI­CIOUS DE­BATE: Gavin Davies and Mug­wena Maluleke

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