Grade 8 to 11 exams halted at some KZN schools due to Sadtu pickets
Some KwaZulu-Natal high schools have postponed internal examinations because of an impasse between the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) and the provincial education department.
Sadtu started picketing at schools on Monday due to the department's failure to address grievances after a march on October 13.
Its demands included payment of financial allocations to schools, payment of pay progression, adjustment of the grade R stipend and its absorption, grading of schools, decentralisation of post-level one appointments, timely appointment of substitutes and senior management posts.
The stalemate has not affected national senior certificate matric examinations. However, it has affected those at schools north and south of Durban.
Glenhaven Secondary School in Verulam said in a circular issued by the principal on Tuesday that it was suspending grade 8 to 11 exams from Wednesday until further notice.
“Arising from the discontent by labour (Sadtu), with the KZN department of education as employer, around a number of issues, the school has been informed that Sadtu mandated its membership to withdraw their involvement from all internal examinations (Grade 8 to 11) and to suspend these exams with immediate effect.”
Welbedene Secondary School in Chatsworth, in the south, sent a similar message to parents saying it had postponed papers scheduled for November 7 and 10 by two weeks because of “union mass action”. The exams will now be written between November 22 and 27.
Last week Sadtu KZN spokesperson Nomarashiya Caluza said members would picket at schools from Monday. She did not respond to questions regarding the disruptions.
Provincial education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the department was engaging with the union.
“We will have a meeting with some unions today (Thursday) and we will release a statement on Friday.”
Meanwhile, the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) in the province has distanced itself from the strike.
“We are not on any kind of protest. We will put the learners first at this crucial part of the year,” said provincial spokesperson Thirona Moodley.
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