Union: Education system a disaster

The national education system is a “disaster”, the Afrikaans teachers’ union told the African National Congress (ANC) recently.

It emphasised that the success rate of pupils who started in grade one in 1995 was only 24%, union general secretary Chris Klopper told reporters.

“There were 1,2 million pupils who got lost along the way, we want to know what happened to them.”

Klopper was speaking after meeting ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and other senior party officials in Johannesburg.

Klopper said 1,5 million pupils started in Grade 1 in 1995 and only 360 000 completed matric in 2007.

“The same happened with the 1996 intake and matric results in 2008.”

The success rate for 2008 was only 22%, he said.

Mantashe said the discussions were part of the ruling party’s commitment to establish an inclusive society.

“The idea is to move closer to each other and to relate not on perceptions but on issues.”

The issues raised by the union would be referred to the ANC’s committee for education, Mantashe said.

This was the third meeting between the ANC and the main Afrikaans teachers’ union.

Klopper said: “The education system needs to be tended to and we want to make the South African education system a world-class system.”

Afrikaans teachers’ union president Jopie Breed said that before these meetings the union felt excluded on issues of education policy-making.

“We never felt like we were being taken seriously. We now feel that we are making a contribution,” said Klopper.—Sapa


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