By Jane Sithole MPL, DA Spokesperson on Education:
Provincial Education MEC, Reginah Mhaule must not allow the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) to hold it to ransom by taking decisions that should only be taken by the Department of Education.
Last week, the Department of Basic Education caved in to the threats of teacher union Sadtu and postponed the writing of the Annual National Assessment (ANAs) until February next year.
ANA’s are critical for testing the literacy and numeracy levels of learners in the country. This information is vital for the development of strategies and interventions necessary to ensure that every child receives the high standard of education they deserve.
Without these assessments, how does the department plan on establishing whether or not learners are actually absorbing the information being taught to them?
The DA-led Western Cape does not simply bow to Sadtu’s desires because our children’s education comes first.
Annual tests in the Western Cape are independently set and administered. The interruption of schooling is limited to the time it takes to write the tests. The tests are marked independently, not by Sadtu. They are internationally benchmarked to ensure the best possible assessment, and are comparable year on year and grade on grade. They allow truly credible evidence on which to base meaningful literacy and numeracy interventions.
The DA calls on MEC Mhaule to follow the same model of annual testing in Mpumalanga and not allow Sadtu to simply play political games with our children’s future. The DA will table a motion for the independence of testing to be enforced in Mpumalanga.
The teacher’s union is not the Department of Education and should not be allowed to tamper with the Department of Education’s processes. It is not fair to the children and it stifles their freedom and the opportunity to realise their full potential when Sadtu dictates the quality of education in our province.