The Democratic Alliance (DA) has released a statement calling on the Gauteng department of education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to crack the whip against the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) for leaving learners to attend union meetings during school hours, City Buzz reports.
The DA said that it was troubling seeing children leave school at about 11am as teachers were expected to attend the Sadtu mass meeting yesterday at 12pm.
Photos of youngsters leaving school due to the meeting have surfaced. In the photos, the children are seen leaving Finetown Secondary School in Ennerdale South.
“This is becoming a norm in schools where Sadtu dominates and insists that their meetings be held during school hours,” said the DA.
The DA went further to accuse Sadtu of destroying the future of children in the townships, and has called for the union to be held accountable for the closure of township schools and the decline in enrollment.
“Most of the parents are moving their children from these schools to better performing and disciplined schools,” added the DA.
The DA has urged MEC Lesufi to take stern steps to stop Sadtu from any further disruption of learning and teaching.
“Teachers are gambling with the future of our children as they are no longer committed to their core mandate of teaching, but they are prioritising Sadtu meetings during working hours,” The DA said.
The DA said that the department of education should support principals who refuse to allow teachers to attend union meetings during school hours. “Unions have rights guaranteed by the Constitution to hold meetings and protest, however, it does not guarantee them the right to disrupt schooling. Equally, the provision of basic education is a constitutional guarantee for young people,” said the DA.
The DA concluded that the needs of the children must be made a priority as their future depends on highly committed and dedicated teachers.