Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

13 July, 2011

SADTU misrepresenting the facts in order to protect their members

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

SADTU Western Cape's resolve to ensure that all educators do not participate in the NSC marking process and its call for all principals and deputy principals not to sign any job descriptions or performance contracts in the Western Cape reveals that they have no interest in improving the standards of education in this province.

The Western Cape Government's main priority is to protect the interests of our learners and to enhance the quality of teaching in this province.

Therefore, we will continue to proceed with consultation on the performance contracts, as well as, the implementation of the criteria for the selection of examination markers.

1. Criteria for the selection of markers.

SADTU Western Cape has rejected the WCED's criteria for examination markers, most specifically the criteria that mentions that the WCED would only consider applicants whose school achieved a pass rate of at least 70% in the subject applied for.

To enhance the credibility of the National Senior Certificate Examinations and to give all candidates and their teachers their best opportunity we will not withdraw our requirements and criteria for markers for the 2011 NSC. We want to ensure there is the highest possible standard of marking in these examinations and that all our markers are both competent and experienced in their subject fields.

SADTU appears to misunderstand the difference between conditions of services and conditions of employment. The appointment of examination markers is not a condition of service. The final decision as to the appointment of internal moderators, chief markers, deputy chief markers and markers rests with the WCED.

2. The implementation of performance contracts.

In order to ensure quality in the system, we need to commit ourselves to being accountable for our actions.

We are very fortunate in this province to have in place hundreds of quality school principals, who are committed and passionate, and deliver the best possible results in often very difficult circumstances.

By introducing a performance agreement for Principals and Deputy Principals, we will be strengthening the levels of accountability in the system, and in turn, helping improve the quality of education provided in this province. These performance contracts will ultimately link performance assessment to the quality of learner outcomes at a given school.

We are fully aware, and agree, that conditions of service are a national competence.

However, conditions of employment are a provincial competence. The performance contract will be an agreement between the employer and the employee. In the case, the employer of educators and principals is the Head of Department for the Provincial Education Department.

The WCED has committed itself to a series of consultations with relevant roleplayers before any final contracts are arrived at. This consultation will include matters of sanctions and rewards. This process will include the provincial principals' forum, school governing bodies, unions and the South African Principals' Association.

SADTU have been invited to join the process and we welcome their input in this regard.

Once we have completed this process and have drawn up a contract, our intention is to pilot the agreement starting in January 2012.

We are, however, resolute in our determination to see such agreements enacted.

The WCED is participating in the discussions at national level concerning the introduction of performance agreements.

Conclusion

In the SADTU constitution it states that its members would "maintain high standards of ethical conduct, professional integrity and efficiency in the promotion and maintenance of standards of teaching and learning."

Its statements and actions should reflect this commitment.

The Western Cape Education Department, however, can assure all parents and learners that it will not withdraw any of these measures at the expense of improving the standards and the quality of education in this province.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or brcasey@pgwc.gov.za.

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


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2011 WCED