The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has called for discipline and dedication from pupils ahead of the matric examinations.
The union, which is largest in the education sector, wished the 790,405 pupils, who will be writing the 2019 national senior certificate (NSC), the best of luck.
The examinations are expected to begin on October 15 and end on November 28.
“Sadtu commends its members in particular and teachers in general who sacrificed their mornings, evenings and holidays providing pupils with extra lessons and support in order to ensure they pass.
“As part of providing additional pupil support to matriculants, Sadtu’s mobile app has previous question papers for pupils to access free of charge. The importance of the national senior certificate cannot be over-emphasised,” the union’s general-secretary, Mugwena Maluleke, said.
Maluleke added despite the news that the general education certificate would be introduced in Grade 9, the NSC currently remained the only exit qualification that opened the doors to institutions of higher learning and world of work.
“The general education certificate will be a transitional certificate that will allow pupils to pursue technical and vocational streams at colleges.
“We understand this is a trying time for families of pupils writing these examinations, as they are filled with anxiety due to the gravitas of this class, which if passed, has the potential of changing the lives of pupils for the better. We, therefore, urge parents to give pupils their undivided support and guidance during this period.
“We also call for discipline and dedication from the pupils during the examination period. We urge them to use this time to focus on their studies and avoid destructive activities,” Maluleke said.
The union pleaded with communities to cease protests that would make it difficult for pupils to access schools to write exams, but to rally behind schools to ensure they were safe so that learning, teaching and the writing of examinations take place.
Meanwhile, the union in Gauteng claims the situation at Eldorado Park Secondary School has become unbearable for teachers.
Provincial secretary Tseliso Ledimo said he was disappointed by the conduct of members of the school governing body (SGB) and a group of residents.
“We made huge progress toward resolving the issue of the return of 18 teachers. The union has been pursuing all available avenues to resolve the impasse. We also resolved to suspend our protest action in favour of engagement.”
He said the situation at the school “exposes the recklessness of the parents with the education of our children”.
On October 9, the union held a meeting where decisions, including the return of teachers by October 14, were taken.
“Regrettably, the community, led by the SGB and DA, resolved to block the teachers from returning to the school. We learned with dismay that pupils stormed out of their classes today demanding the return of their teachers. The situation has become unbearable for the teachers at the school. This exposes the recklessness of the parents with the education of our children,” said Ledimo.
Meanwhile, the union has welcomed the Gauteng Department of Education’s intervention on behalf of matriculants.
On Monday, the department took matriculants to a study camp to prepare for their final examinations.
“… We equally call for the department to take appropriate measures to save the future of grade 8 to 11 pupils as a matter of extreme urgency. If this matter remains unresolved by October 18, the union shall revisit its position,” Ledimo said.