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Media Release

7 December, 2007

Retired Teachers Association to help promote excellence

Statement by Cameron Dugmore, MEC for Education in the Western Cape

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has launched a call for expression of interest last night (Thursday 06 December) for a proposed Retired Teachers Association (RTA). Deputy Education Minister Enver Surty was the guest speaker at the function in Athlone, Cape Town.

The WCED under the leadership of MEC Cameron Dugmore, has set aside modest seed funding for the inception of this initiative and contracted a service provider to determine interest levels to see if the proposal garners support.

Said MEC Dugmore: "The ultimate success of the operation will depend on the uptake from retired teachers. We have started to speak to stakeholders like unions and school governing body associations as well as to individuals, and the preliminary responses have been extremely enthusiastic.

"The real debate about details, roles, constitution, roll-out and so on will be in the hands of the retired teachers themselves.

"We are confident that this exercise will provide a huge resource for schools and for learning, a mass mobilisation of a vital 'support base' with so much wisdom and talent to contribute and a good place for community plough back.

"Through the association the branches might provide intellectual stimulus to members on issues of common interest or via social engagements. Lectures and sessions on, for example, emerging legislation or school management issues, could contribute much to maintaining cohesiveness and personal fulfilment in this sector of society.

"Members of the RTA might want to offer tuition or other help, for example in libraries or with management; help with literacy and numeracy programmes; or even conducting classes at spring or winter schools.

"I would also like to call on the experience of retired educators to feed insights into the structures of the WCED and school governing bodies, to promote excellence in public education.

"Members of the RTA will have an opportunity to interact with other retirees in participating in community service, be updated on relevant legislative and policy issues, participate in social activities and perhaps receive discounts on items or services that the RTA might have negotiated with its trading partners.

"So, if you're a retired educator or a group and you believe you can add value to the lives of our learners and teachers, and help grow the RTA, please make contact. For the RTA to achieve its objectives and survive, it requires your further input, commitment and membership.

"This is the start of something very exciting and I look forward to learning from the retired teachers what their vision might be for growing education in our province to give everybody the best possible start in life."

Retired educators interested in joining, can contact: Harry Zass 082 336 2875; or Andiswa Mxhadi 072 444 8845; email rta@workmail.co.za; or fax 086 666 2146.

For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi: 082 550 3938, or gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za or Paddy Attwell: pattwell@pgwc.gov.za.

Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

The Western Cape - A Home for All
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2007 WCED