Teachers, parents unite to uplift Soweto schools

Sunday, April 10, 2011
By: 
Gabi Khumalo

Johannesburg - Underperformance, low levels of parental involvement in education and illegal industrial action are just some of the challenges facing schools in Soweto said Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane. 

Speaking at an education summit aimed at addressing underperforming schools in that area, Mokonyane urged educators, labour unions and parents to work together in improving education. The summit was attended by educators, labour unions, faith based organisations, parents and business among others.

According to a report, Soweto has the largest number of underperforming schools compared to other township schools in Gauteng. The average 2010 matric pass rate of Soweto secondary schools was 63 percent, compared to provincial average of 79 percent.

"The truth of the matter is that education in Soweto has been compromised and is in a state of decline. Teachers seem to have lost the sense of duty that is bestowed upon them by this noble profession. The culture of poor learning, in which learners and teachers are not adhering to the seven hour learning days, cannot go unchallenged," Mokonyane said.

She said the unbecoming behaviour of learners, which is slowly becoming a norm in Soweto schools, cannot be curbed if parents do not play their role in the education of their children and urged them to commit themselves in the affairs of the various schools in the area.

Chairperson of the Soweto Black Management Forum, Solly Moripe, said the summit would form part of existing efforts to transform Soweto schools into centres of excellence.

He also urged business to provide skills development opportunities to educators, learners and School Governing Bodies (SGBs). 

"The district and schools can use your skills in finance and other disciplines; hence we call you to share your expertise."

Speaking on behalf of organised labour, Gauteng South African Democratic Teacher Union (SADTU) Secretary, Tshidiso Ledimo, said: "In order to turn around our education system, our interventions should be comprehensive and strengthen the role of parents, learners, government and SGBs." - BuaNews