By Mbali Ntuli, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Education:
REPORTS that some 900 KZN schools have been closed for more than a week – allegedly as a result of Sadtu interference – are the biggest indicator yet that the province’s education department is incapable of arresting the teacher union’s iron grip.
The selling of positions, sex for positions, influencing everything from district level appointments to qualification criteria of appointments are just a few of the things SADTU has become involved in here in KZN.
The DA is angry and disappointed at the callous manner in which the ANC has allowed SADTU to rob children in our province of their futures. It is increasingly evident that the ANC has a leadership crisis when it comes to Education.
Earlier this year the DA raised questions with KZN MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni and her department about scandals, as a result of evidence from KwaNyuswa schools. Mlokothwa School is another example the DA brought to the attention of the department. In addition, there are number of questions and enquiries that the DA has submitted to the department around unpaid educators, teachers who are victimized for not being in SADTU factions.
Yet the MEC has done nothing, ultimately condoning Sadtu’s actions and leading to the situation we are in today.
It is futile for the MEC to call for whistleblowers to come forward. She knows the problems already. As the DA pointed out in the recent KZN Education budget debate, this department has spent R44million on forensic audits – which it has been politically impotent to implement.
The DA again calls on both the ANC in KZN and MEC Nkonyeni to solve this problem by making all educators accountable for their work. This means performance agreements for principals, regular reporting of teaching standards, regular inspection and oversight by district officials, capacity programmes for teachers and incentives bonuses for teachers and officials who meet and exceed the standards of quality education delivery.
There can be no equivocation on this matter. If the ANC and the MEC do not break SADTUs hold over education in our province, then they must be held responsible for creating their version of Bantu education.