School principals pledge to abide by non-negotiables

Friday, August 7, 2009

Durban - School principals have welcomed the initiative taken by President Jacob Zuma to interact with them and address matters affecting the country's education system. 

In a draft declaration, the principals endorsed the non-negotiables outlined by President Zuma in his State of the Nation Address and reiterated during an interactive meeting held in Durban on Friday. 

"We endorse the non-negotiables as outlined by President Jacob Zuma, to ensure that educators teach, learners learn, parents provide support to their children and government create a conducive environment for learning and teaching," the declaration reads.

School principals further committed themselves to ensure that schoolwork and quality education prevails in all schools particularly rural schools. 

"We thus resolve to recommit ourselves to the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign's declaration signed by various stakeholders, which will enable the improvement of quality education," the principals stated. 

In his address during the meeting, President Zuma said the government had established the set of non-negotiables which among others, ensure that officials of the Department of Basic Education and Training adhere to, to improve the level of education system. 

He said the officials must ensure that all teaching resources are provided on time, to monitor teacher and learner attendance and performance, and to facilitate teacher development. 

The non-negotiables are anticipated to strengthen the partnership for the renewal of the country's education system and bury the impact of apartheid in education, he said.

In the declaration principals also agreed that as major stakeholders they note that education is one of the main priorities identified by government, and will commit themselves to implement their duties according to standard. 

"Education remains the pillar in the fight against poverty, skills shortage and other social ills and we hope that the introduction of the National Curriculum Statement is a major step forward in finally transforming our education," the declaration read.

The schools principals further promised o represent the head of department in ensuring that schools are managed satisfactorily and in compliance with applicable legislation and regulations. 

President Zuma further announced that government will soon introduce a system of performance measurements throughout the educational system. 

"We want our principals too know what is expected of them, and to help us to meet our targets," he said, adding that through the non-negotiables government wants all schools to be underpinned by a culture of achievement, professionalism and positive results. 

He said in achieving these goals, government will continue to spend money on improving infrastructure and resources.

Schools are anticipated to meet with provincial premiers and MECs to further the conversation and continuous consultation in ensuring that schools are constantly performing to standard.