Media Statement: NAPTOSA Comment on the SONA on Thursday, 9 February 2017
Mr Star Ntantala, President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), commenting on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Jacob Zuma to Parliament on 9 February 2017, lamented the irresponsible behaviour of some national leaders in the House, as it does not instil confidence in the public at large. He added that the Union welcomed several aspects of the Address, but expressed disappointment that critical issues were not highlighted.
NAPTOSA welcomes the State President’s reflection on the importance of education especially that it remains an apex priority for Government. “Whilst NAPTOSA acknowledges the eradication of unsuitable school buildings and the construction of 895 schools through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI), this is still insufficient as vast inequities still exist across the Country”, said Mr Ntantala. He added that too many learners are still trapped in unsuitable schools throughout the Country. Freedom and democracy have had little impact on their life chances and quality of education. NAPTOSA is perturbed that to date, more than 4000 learners have not been placed in schools in Gauteng. In addition, the shortage of Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) in Limpopo and Eastern Cape schools have negatively impacted teaching and learning in these provinces. “NAPTOSA noted that whilst some communities have modern classrooms, they are devoid of furniture and equipment which has resulted in learners sitting on the floor”, said Mr Ntantala.
Mr Ntantala commended Government’s initiative to train 15 000 artisans, however, the concerns of students and lecturers at TVET Colleges have fallen on deaf ears, which has forced many Colleges to suspend lectures at the beginning of this academic year. NAPTOSA calls on Business to commit to providing ‘on the job training’ for the unemployed youth, he added.
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National Disability Rights Awareness Month
South Africa commemorates National Disability Rights Awareness Month annually between 3 November and 3 December which is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This year's theme is: “Persons with disabilities – Equal participants in shaping a sustainable future.”
In terms of the Constitution (Act no 108 of 1996) access to basic education is a fundamental right without limitations (Section 27) and no child of compulsory school-going age should be discriminated against on the basis of disability (Section 9), to date the majority of these children have not had access to public funded education and support, leaving them vulnerable and outside . NAPTOSA has been calling on the DBE to pay closer attention the education of children with severe to profound intellectual disabilities (SPID).
The Department of Basic Education’s call for comment on the draft policy for the provision of quality education and support for children with severe to profound intellectual disability (SPID) coincides with the National Disability Rights Awareness Month (DRAM). All relevant stakeholder bodies and members of the public are invited to submit comments to both draft policy documents by 9 December 2016.
Draft policy for the provision of quality education and support for children with severe to profound intellectual disability (SPID)
Draft Policy for (SPID)
Draft learning programme for children with severe to profound intellectual disability
Draft Learning Programme