Hacking at education

Thank heavens at least one cabinet minister remembers the distinction between party and state.

Thank heavens at least one cabinet minister remembers the distinction between party and state.

Education Minister Naledi Pandor has warned teachers against "any campaigning directed at pupils and teachers during school time".

Most of us realise we are expected to perform the duties for which we are paid during work hours. But many of our under-performing teachers and the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) still fail to grasp this simple concept.

Ronald Nyathi, the union's secretary in Gauteng, was so bold to proclaim without shame last week there would be no teaching until the ANC had won the next elections.

"Sadtu members, by virtue of a resolution, as well as a resolution by Cosatu, are expected to campaign wholeheartedly and passionately for the overwhelming victory of the ANC in the general elections," he said.

Lest any teacher misunderstand the message, Nyathi and his bullyboys are systematically expelling anyone they suspect has jumped ship to another party.

Not too many years ago teaching was a calling practised by idealists determined to better the nation, often at great personal cost.

Now too many inept hacks preside in classrooms with no sense of the responsibility they owe their calling.

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