SADTU to challenge Western Cape schools law

Staff Writer | May 29, 2019
Monitoring teacher quality in the Western Cape is at the heart of opposition by the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU).

the Western Cape Provincial School Education Act.

While the legal challenge was filed in April, SADTU was concerned that Education MEC Debbie Schäfer would attempt to forge ahead with the planned implementation of the Act. At issue was the establishment of an evaluation authority for province. This would monitor the quality of teaching in the Western Cape.

The Act would allow the MEC to establish an institution that would appoint evaluators for the provincial school system. The MEC would also be able to dismiss the chief evaluator.

Schäfer had earlier said: ‘The intention of this authority is to assess the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, and the general functionality of a school. The reports will be published, once finalised, for the public to see, in line with our commitment to transparency and accountability.’

Jonavon Rustin, SADTU provincial secretary, said that the powers conferred on the MEC would undermine the independence of the authority. An ‘outsider’ without an understanding of the ‘realities of many schools in the province’ might misuse these powers.

The quality of education provided to learners in South Africa is widely, if not universally, regarded as fatal weakness for the country.


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