Education International‘s (EI) 8th Africa Regional Conference
Mr. Basil Manuel, President of NAPTOSA, led the NAPTOSA delegation to the Education International‘s (EI) 8th Africa Regional Conference which was held from the 3 – 6 February 2015.
Under the theme of ‘Achieving Quality Education in Africa: Prospects and Challenges Beyond 2015,’ Education International’s (EI) 8th Africa Regional Conference officially kicked-off from the 4 February 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya.
In his opening remarks, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, said that his country must “ensure that the quality of education meets the basic requirements for human capital development”. Acknowledging the importance of quality education, from Early Childhood Education to tertiary studies and research, the president added that governments and educators must maintain a solid partnership to drive quality education agenda.
Quality education only possible with quality teaching
Reiterating Kenyatta, EI’s General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen stressed that “there is no quality education without quality teaching, and there is no quality teaching without highly motivated, well trained and well paid teachers.” However, he noted that an increasing number of teachers in Africa are being forced to work on limited-term contracts for shrinking salaries and resources, increased work-loads, less professional development and are losing autonomy.
“If national governments are serious about improving education, then they need to start listening to teachers. Teachers know what students need to succeed,” he said.
Thematic breakout sessions focused on: Early Childhood Education; the Higher Education and Research Network; the Communication and Organising Network; the Education and Solidarity Network; and the Global Campaign for Education, the Global Partnership in Education and Local Education Groups target the major education issues in Africa.
Women’s and girl’s education under the spotlight
The Conference was preceded by a women’s roundtable on 2 February, where Ms Glenda Boyes of NAPTOSA presented an engaging workshop on diversity and inclusion in quality education.
The Conference was attended by more than 450 delegates and observers, representing 52 countries, 130 teachers and education workers’ organisations from Africa, Europe and North America, Global Union Federations, as well as education stakeholders and governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Mr Basil Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), commenting on the results of the 2014 National Senior Certificate (NSC) commended the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for accomplishing a “successful” first CAPS-NSC examination. NAPTOSA welcomes the timeous release of the results. The decrease in the overall pass rate from 78.2% to 75.8% in 2014, whilst disconcerting, does demonstrate the integrity of the system in responding to the changing demands of the CAPS curriculum, said Mr Basil Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa
The real focus should be on the quality of passes. NAPTOSA is therefore especially concerned by the sharp decline in the overall quality of passes, particularly the decline in Bachelors passes to 28.3 % in 2014 from 30.6%. This suggests a decrease in the number of learners who qualify for entry into Higher Education Institutions, said Mr Manuel.
Wrap up of NAPTOSA’s 2014 Professional Development Activities.
The December holidays are now only a few weeks away and the NAPTOSA professional development activities in all Provinces are now complete for this year.
2014 has been extremely busy for NAPTOSA development initiatives countrywide. Our development programmes included the ETDP-SETA funded bursary programme as well as our traditional termly professional development courses and classes, and of course the many conferences held in all Provinces.
These programmes have provided our members with professional development opportunities which offered quality programmes at either very affordable, highly subsidised rates, or in the case of Professional Development Institute funded activities, no cost to the member at all.
To give you an idea of the variety and scope of NAPTOSA programmes each Province was asked to submit an overview of their activities and as they become available we will include them in this province by province report.
25 November – 10 December - Act Now to Prevent and Eradicate Gender-based Violence in Schools
The 16 Days of Activism is a global Campaign that advocates for action against gender-based violence. This Campaign has been running for 23 years. Since 1991, the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership has been the global coordinator of the 16 Days Campaign. The International theme for 2014 is “From peace in the home to peace in the world: let’s challenge Militarism and end Gender-Based Violence”.
The three main priorities of the Campaign this year are:
- Violence perpetrated by organs of state. ( e.g. aggressive action by police)
- Proliferation of small arms. (often used in home based violence by intimate partners)
- Sexual violence during and after conflict. ( e.g. kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls)
The NAPTOSA Charter of Professionalism states that we, the teachers of NAPTOSA will serve and educate all learners with equal dedication, irrespective of gender, race, culture, religion, political affiliation, intellectual capacity and sexual orientation, delivering the curriculum so as to enable all learners to develop their skills, knowledge, values and attitudes in a changing environment. Therefore, we urge all NAPTOSA members to dedicate the last (16) days of the school year to some form of activism against School-related Gender-based Violence (SRGBV).
The 4th Biennial NAPTOSA Congress was held from 30 October to 1 November 2014 in Benoni. The theme of the Congress was, “Racing to the Top: The Challenges of Quality and Equity in Education.”
Mr Basil Manuel (President), Mrs Anthea Cereseto (Deputy President) and Mr Nkosiphendule Ntantala (Vice-President) were all re-elected to their positions for another term of office.