NECT and education sector trade unions optimistic about progress made

Centurion, 19 March 2014 – Yesterday, the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) and the education sector trade unions, held a prolific joint meeting to clarify the roles of each in securing the key success conditions for the Education Collaboration Framework (ECF).

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), the Professional Educators Union (PEU), the National Teachers Union (Natu), the Suid Afrikaanse Oderwysers Unie (SAOU) and the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) and the NECT also agreed on future actions to be taken in order to maintain the momentum of the drive to make changes in education.

Reiterating the sentiments of the six unions, Mr Mugwena Maluleke of SADTU said they welcome the active role of the NECT in proposing a common support programme for improvement, one that will level out duplications and ensure that all South Africans focus on common key actions to bring about change.

“The unions expressed their unconditional commitment to the NECT and called on their regional leaders to actively participate in the multi-stakeholder District Steering Committees that have been set up by the NECT,” Maluleke said.

The unions also welcomed the courageous step that the NECT has taken in bringing to the fore long-standing obstacles to effective education improvement, particularly those that relate to teacher professionalisation and making school leadership more effective.

The meeting encouraged the NECT to continue with the implementation of its programmes in the eight districts while simultaneously preparing for a one day session where the unions and the NECT will finalise the conditions for success.

Before the planned meeting takes place, the NECT is expected to consult with the Education Labour Relation Council (ELRC) and the South African Council of Educators (SACE) on the key success conditions for the professional of teaching.

The CEO of the NECT, Godwin Khosa is encouraged by the openness with which the meeting was conducted and the clear action steps to be followed.

“The NECT will follow this up with the stakeholder groups identified and reconvene the meeting. In the meantime the work of the NECT in schools and districts continues with the volunteered support from the six unions,” he said.

Jopie Breed of the SAOU expressed his pleasant surprise at the amount of work carried out by the NECT. He said he initially thought that this initiative would be like the many others he has heard of, but that straight from its launch the NECT proved to be an action-oriented initiative.

The Chairperson of the NECT, Sizwe Nxasana welcomed the recommitment by the unions to the NECT and constructive dialogue that they have initiated through the NECT for the benefit of the education sector as whole. 

He also hailed the meeting for providing a clear mandate to the NECT management to play a catalytic and facilitative role among the key education stakeholders.

Meanwhile the NECT is making progress in implementing its plans in the eight districts where over 1200 people have been commissioned to start the improvement work in schools and to prepare three-year plans that will focus on all schools in the eight districts.

Issued by Meropa Communications on behalf of the NECT
For more information contact:
Candi Matavele: 011 506 7300 and 073 357 1019
Charmaine Khumalo: 011 506 7300 and 072 444 8629

Note to editors
The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), established in mid-2013, is a civil society-government partnership dedicated to intensifying reform and boosting performance in basic education. Its board of trustees, chaired by Sizwe Nxasana, comprises representatives of business, government, teacher associations and civil society more broadly.

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