Tom Stokes, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Education
EARLIER this week, it was reported that National Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, is planning to introduce performance agreements for principals this year, but that SADTU is plotting to try and stall the process.
Two simple question need to be asked: “Have matric results in our country improved or deteriorated since teaching fell under trade unions rather than professional bodies?” The other question is – “how can we change the rules of the game to redress the balance between teacher rights and responsibilities?”
In the Western Cape, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has already instituted performance contracts as part of a broader initiative to create a culture of accountability within education and to improve learner outcomes. The system not only sets performance standards for school leadership, but also stipulates the type of intervention and support required by the provincial Education Department where there is consistent under-performing. Sanctions for principals who continue to perform poorly are also built into the system.
Minister Motshekga must not allow our children’s future to be held to ransom by SADTU. It is time that she clearly articulated the primary responsibility of her department – to enhance the education standards of the millions of learners in our country and the aspirations of their parents who pay taxes – and not to pander to the demands of any teacher union.