Black teachers teach 3,5 hours a day – whites 6,5 hours, warns SA president in startling speech:
August 7 2009 – DURBAN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, South Africa. “Those black teachers who only spend half their teaching time in the classroom as compared to their white counterparts, are ‘advancing racism’ and ‘practising apartheid’, “ South African President Jacob Zuma warned in a startling Dutch-Uncle speech to some 1,500 school principals from across the country in Durban yesterday.
This particular portion of his speech -- which points out the poor performance of black teachers in comparison with their white counterparts -- was not reported in such detail by the English-language news media. However it was reported by Beeld Afrikaans-language journalist Dries Liebenberg.
Zuma failed to mention the main reason why the black, mostly female teachers in his country spend far less time in the nation’s classrooms: often, South Africa’s black teachers are dying of AIDS – at the rate of some 55 teachers a month…
Black teachers educate 3,5 hours a day, whites 6,5 hours…
Zuma provided hard-hitting statistics to back up his claim about black teachers providing less education time: saying that ‘teachers in ‘previously white’ schools educate pupils an average 6,5 hours a day for each class, while black teachers in ‘previously disadvantaged (i.e. black township-) schools average only 3,5 hours of daily teaching time.’
He was addressing some 1,500 school principals from across the country who had been summonsed to his education-conference, a so-named mini-imbiso, to ‘get a debate going about education’ after the country ‘s shockingly low matriculation results. These poor results are usually blamed on the ‘vestiges of apartheid’ by apologists – however Zuma wouldn’t hear of this:
“These problems are a reality and must be looked squarely in the eyes,” Zuma added, commenting: “Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, one of the architects of apartheid, made certain that black pupils received poorer education and thus those black teachers in previously disadvantaged schools who are slacking off on the job are also advancing such racial inequalities,’ he said.
“We must ask ourselves to what extent teachers in many historically disadvantaged schools unwittingly perpetuate the wishes of Hendrik Verwoerd, if they decide to teach for about three hours a day. Many children from poor communities do not complete senior secondary school. In many instances the reason is that they cannot cope with the higher levels, as a result of problems in the delivery of education earlier in their school life.”
’ Everybody knows that there is a high percentage of unqualified teachers in the classrooms. If they aren’t given a chance to study, people mustn’t be surprised about the poor matriculation results. This isn’t rocket science. We just need to get the basic things right.’
Seven hours a day of education is an ‘unnegotiable issue’ for the president. “Fridays and paydays are normal schooldays,’ he said amidst loud applause. He also expected pupils to arrive on time at school, for them to study, diligently do their homework – and show respect towards teachers and fellow pupils.
“I will pay unexpected visits to schools to make certain that these requirements are met,’ he promised.
Liebenberg reports Zuma as also saying that education will be his administration’s number-one priority – with the president pointing out that ‘although apartheid ended in 1994, the policy measures taken since that time have not resulted in the poorest children receiving quality-education’.
White teachers shunned despite thousands of open posts:
Beeld also reported earlier in the week that many tens of thousands of open posts for teachers and principals remained open because they are unadvertised and that whenever qualified white teachers apply for such jobs they are inevitably turned down. This high level of open teaching posts is mainly caused by the devastating HIV-AIDS epidemic – which already showed a 55 deaths-a-month rate by 2000 among the mostly female, educated black population in South Africa. This growing staff shortage due to the AIDS-epidemic in turn also is causing a serious breakdown in communication between the schools and central education departments, i.a. of the schools’ budgets, auditing and test results; and their exact pupil numbers. Teachers also complain of a growing culture of violence in the schools which is making their jobs even more difficult.
Three new Ministers of Education…
Zuma’s education conference was called to determine where their policies have failed, and how their mistakes can be corrected, writes Liebenberg. The conference also was attended by trade union representatives, provincial premiers and educational MECs, and the country’s three (!) new ministers in charge of educational matters, namely Angie Motshekga (Primary Education), Blade Nzimande (Higher Education) and Collins Chabane, the Minister in the Presidency in charge of overseeing national education; http://jv.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2546243,00.html
The self-censorship of the English news media in SA: Zuma’s speech:
The version of this specific speech as published in the most widely-read English-news media in South Africa is completely different. The Sowetan newspaper didn’t even report it. And the News24.com version goes as follows:
- “President Jacob Zuma on Friday told hundreds of school principals he would visit schools unannounced to check if teachers taught for seven hours a day and that pupils were attending classes. As part of active performance monitoring and evaluation, I will visit some schools unannounced to check if the non-negotiables are being adhered to," Zuma told 1 500 school principals from around the country at Durban's Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre. Zuma said one of the non-negotiables was to ensure teachers taught for seven hours every school day. "Teachers should be in school, in class, on time, teaching, with no neglect of duty and no abuse of pupils. Some of our teachers should know that Fridays and pay days are ordinary school working days."… "We have essentially come together to launch a new drive to truly change the learning, teaching and management of our schools," Zuma said. The conference was aimed at giving school principals an opportunity to tell the president of problems affecting their schools. Zuma said he had wanted to meet all school principals but he had been told it would be impossible as South Africa had 25,000 school heads.”
- Read the entire article here in News24.com: and a similar version in The Star, Johannesburg Entire presidential speech: http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/show.asp?type=sp&include=president/sp/2009/sp0807111.htm&ID=1971 Returning from his speech, he then briefly met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Durban airport, and the two briefly shook hands. Clinton is in South Africa to ‘firm up’ relations with South Africa. It’s the only time she met Zuma on this trip.
sources - 2008 poor matriculation results - debate:
- Vijay Reddy from the Human Sciences Research Council said the 2,7% drop in the matric pass rate to 62,5% was "very worrying because it means that 38%, or four out of ten, have failed".
- The Western Cape provincial education minister, Yousuf Gabru, said it was cause for concern that the number of schools with pass rates of less than 60% had suddenly increased by nearly 20% compared to 2007.
- Brian O'Connell, the rector of the University of the Western Cape, said the 2008 matric results should not be blamed on historical inequalities but should serve as a warning of a crisis in the South African education system. The problem, O'Connell said, was the political failure to build a post-apartheid culture of learning to make up for lost decades when education was a tug of war."We should stop throwing around the resources thing and ask why we don't have a strong national culture of learning, instilled from the presidency downwards."We have no leadership in schools and we have no quality control."
- Department of Education President Jacob Zuma
High impact of HIV-AIDS on teachers in South Africa:
Researchers projected in 2001 that based on that year’s 12,7% registered new infection rates among the (90% female) teachers, the cumulative teacher deaths between 2000 and 2015 would soar to 120,000 –one-third of the total number of teachers employed in South Africa that year. The high level of open teaching vacancies by 2009 shows that this estimate was low despite it not taking into account any impact of antiretroviral treatment which was still being oposed by then-president thabo Mbeki at the time. Many more teachers are now dying in the epidemic at the moment than had been predicted. http://www.eldis.org/fulltext/aidssouthafricanote.pdf
70,000 new teachers needed by 2010 to replace sick and dying educators
By 2006, the then-minister of Education Kader Asmal, finally warned that South Africa faced losing its teachers to the deadly disease. In KwaZulu-Natal province, one in four people carried the virus by 2006 and, he said 70,000 new teachers will be needed by 2010 to replace sick and dying instructors, predicted Peter Badcock-Walters, a research associate for health and economics at the University of Natal's AIDS research division.Badcock-Walters' study, based on statistics from prenatal clinics in 2000, indicates that 36 percent of the region's pregnant women are HIV-positive, with certain rural clinics in the province's northern regions seeing their HIV prevalence as high as 60 percent.
2million children orphaned by AIDS by 2006
Badcock-Walters said of the 2 million children expected to be orphaned nationally by AIDS in the next decade, 500,000 will be in KwaZulu-Natal. His report also said "sick and dying parents also never bother enrolling their children at school." http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/939/context/archive
55 female teachers a month dying of AIDS by 2000:
Between 1999 and 2000, there was a massive 70% increase in deaths of female teachers between the ages of 30 and 34. This is according to figures released last week by the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of Natal. http://www.csa.za.org/article/articleview/185/1/1/
TB and AIDS co-infection crisis a big threat in South Africa:
In April 2009 the South African government launched a new test to diagnose multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), of which 16,000 cases were reported in 2007 alone and showed a mounting death-rate of AIDS-TB coinfected patients. Doctors are hoping that the new rapid tests will get more patients on treatment and faster. The line probe assay test(LiPA), will allow diagnosis of drug-resistant TB in as little as one day, whereas standard sputum tests can take anywhere from weeks to months to come back from the laboratory. A new report on global TB control, released on Tuesday 24 March by the World Health Organization (WHO), puts South Africa fourth in the world for the annual number of MDR cases (with AIDS-coinfection) reported. http://www.plusnews.org/InDepthMain.aspx?InDepthId=78&ReportId=83625
HIV-testing in SA schools 2009:
A Johannesburg high school did something that for years has only been whispered behind closed doors in education circles – voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV was offered to students. http://www.plusnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=85561
Zimbabwe teachers allowed to stay to fill teacher-shortage gap:
South African government changes immigration permit, allows Zimbabwean teachers to work in SA: April 19 2009: CoRMSA’s Breen said the new permit could actually help guarantee the human rights of both Zimbabweans and South Africans by protecting Zimbabweans from exploitation while ensuring that skills shortages in South Africa did not deny citizens access to health and education. “It will have very tangible effects for migrants themselves, but also for South Africa, which will be able to better use the skills that many Zimbabweans can contribute,” said Breen, who noted that South Africa’s emphasis on deportation had taken Zimbabwean teachers out of classrooms and into repatriation centres, with a one-way ticket home. http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=83890