Sadtu to tackle no-fee schools issue

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Problems related to no-fee schools and quality learning and teaching will be some of the issues under discussion during the Limpopo provincial conference of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union.

The four-day Sadtu conference started on Monday.

There are 2 500 "quintile 1 and 2" schools and about 1 900 "quintile 4 and 5" schools in Limpopo.

Quintile 1 and 2 schools are found in poor communities while 4 and 5 are regarded as schools built for well-to-do communities.

Provincial Sadtu secretary George Mudumela said the problem was that most schools regarded as quintile 4 and 5 were built in communities where both rich and poor lived together.

He said this had led to poor families having to pay exorbitant fees for their children.

He said the problem was the method used by the demarcation board of Statistics South Africa (SSA).

Ward councillors and community development workers should have been consulted about the situation some of the families faced, he said.

Some people complain about the system, saying it benefits rich families who live in communities classified as poor.

The union has also been criticised by parents and school governing bodies across the province for failing to address sexual harassment against pupils, teachers who arrive late for work, are lazy and are often absent from their posts.

The parents accused the union of doing nothing when some teachers lacked discipline and did not take their work seriously.

The conference will elect the top five executive committee members and additional members today and announce the new chairman tomorrow.

Mopani Sadtu and Cosatu chairman Ronny Morwatshehla; acting provincial Sadtu chairman Biddy Ratale; and the chairman of Capricorn region, Dan Madiba, have confirmed their nominations for the provincial chairmanship.

The person elected chairman will lead the union for three years.

Former provincial chairman Thabo Magabane, who was dismissed from the union during the axing of Cosatu and Sadtu chairman Willy Madisha, will not stand for any position.