TEACHERS UNION SPEAKS ON FEES PROTESTS
*Caption: Students protesting outside Hertine Court Residence
Written by: Menelisi Ndwandwe
The 5th of October is widely celebrated as World Teachers Day and the South Africa’s teachers union has a plea to students.
The country is presently facing protests in universities over fees as students continue their fight for free education.
The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) supports the protest but calls for tranquillity.
“We call on all students and all formations to desist from the destruction of university infrastructure,” said SADTU General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke.
“This is tantamount to cutting your nose to spite your face. It is wrong, unacceptable, barbaric and regressive in the worst form. We support student’s mass action but abhor any form of destruction,” Maluleke added.
The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) President, Dr Anthea Cereseto, called for vigilance when tackling the issue of free education.
“NAPTOSA calls on students’ organisations, parents and government to tread cautiously and responsibly when dealing with this issue,” said Cereseto.
“Irresponsible student protests would further de-stabilise the economy,” she added.
Meanwhile the National Teachers’ Union (NATU) Deputy President and Spokesperson, Allen Thompson said the union is fully behind the call for free education.
“We as NATU made a call after our countrywide conferences that we want free education for our children because we can’t afford to take our kids to universities,” said Thompson.
“We want the same status as workers in education with lecturers in universities who don’t pay a cent for their kids in these universities,” he stated.
All major teachers union appreciated the call to support the ‘missing middle’ and teachers on the ground tend to benefit when the missing middle model is finalised.
This year’s Teacher’s Day theme is ‘Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status’.