Havoc as exams start

PUBLIC ROLE: Kate Bapela heads public relations institute for a second term. © Unknown.

Kate Bapela. Business Day, 7 November 2007, page 5.
PUBLIC ROLE: Kate Bapela heads public relations institute for a second term. © Unknown. Kate Bapela. Business Day, 7 November 2007, page 5.

Sne Masuku and Tebogo Monama

Sne Masuku and Tebogo Monama

Schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng seem headed for a crisis.

As matriculants begin their trial exams today, teachers in the provinces announced they were dumping the government's recovery plan.

And there is only one school month left before the final matric exams begin.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) says it has advised its members in the two provinces to defy the recovery plan aimed at helping pupils catch up after the public sector strike.

In KwaZulu-Natal Sadtu has instructed teachers to ignore the programme, claiming that only a few teachers were compensated for their efforts.

The province was the first to conclude a deal with teacher unions to make up for time lost during the strike.

The plan involved teachers returning early to school after the June holidays and teaching on Saturdays and during the September holidays.

Sadtu spokesman Sipho Nkosi said some teachers had not been paid for their efforts.

Education spokesman Christie Naude confirmed the non-payments, but said the delays were due to the late receipt of attendance registers.

Sadtu Gauteng chairman Ronald Nyathi said the union had initially supported the recovery plan because its members would be paid for overtime.

"So far not a single teacher has been paid. The unfair thing is that the department wants teachers to implement the recovery plan, but our salaries are still being docked because of our participation in the strike.

"No remuneration, no recovery plan," said Nyathi.

Gauteng education spokesman Kate Bapela said: "We are not aware that Sadtu is distancing itself from the programme."

She said the department was paying teachers who had indicated the amount of extra hours they had put in.

On Tuesday pupils from some schools in Gauteng went on a looting spree after damaging shops in the Johannesburg CBD.

They claimed to be members of the Congress of South African Students (Cosas).

They said they had gone to deliver a memorandum to the Gauteng Education Department's offices.

They demanded that trial exams be postponed and that 20percent should be added to their final marks.

Cosas regional chairman Percy Ntsolo dismissed reports that their members were involved in the rampage in which vendors' stalls were looted.

"We agree that a few of our members were disruptive, but most of the unruly people were hooligans who were not even pupils."

Ntsolo denied claims that the organisation was disrupting schooling and forcing pupils to join in its marches.

The Gauteng Education Department has agreed to meet Cosas leaders next week to discuss their demands.