Ramaphosa: Pay ECD teachers better

Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The South African Democratic Teachers Union  has bemoaned the huge discrepancies in stipends paid between early childhood development (ECD) practitioners.

A report by Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke, which was presented at the union's ninth national congress in Nasrec, southern Johannesburg, highlighted the problem. 

Free State has 1,419 ECD practitioners and those with National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 4  are paid a stipend of R5,000 a month while Western Cape has 1,279  ECD practitioners who are paid R9,246 even though they have the same qualifications.

Northern Cape has 675 ECD practitioners earning R6,300, Mpumalanga with 2,068 pays individuals  R7,000 a month; Limpopo has  1,080 pratitioner also earning R7000. There are 5,302 practitioners in  KwaZulu-Natal earning R7,250. the  Eastern Cape has  4,558 earning R7,741 and the  3,658 in Gauteng earn R8,259 a month each.

“The lack of standardised practices and conditions of service perpetuates employees' lack of accountability. The sector requires clarity regarding costs, timeframes for completion and value of offerings,” said Maluleke.

Sadtu then recommended standardised of salaries per NQF level and the establishment of provincial training and development plans. The union also recommended for the creation of a special fund through Funza Lushaka bursary by amending the criteria to include Grade R practitioners.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who gave the keynote address at the congress, called for better pay for ECD teachers across the board.

 “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Education is the real engine that we should utilise and we need to commit ourselves t that the kids in SA receive quality education. You are best placed to ensure that young people are educated," said the resident.

"The government has moved ECD from social development to the engine room of our country in education.”

Ramaphosa said too many teachers were overburdened and under- resourced and that it was government’s duty to make conditions better for teachers and to make schools safer.

“Sadtu must become more active in the ECD field and also help government develop programmes to make sure more children have quality education from their early stages. Our teachers are the economic player and they need to make sure that a  learner is stimulated  enough to become a participant in the country’s economy,” he said.

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