News clipping – The Mercury – 14 February 2011

Back to school for maths teachers

Maths and science teachers would receive weekend lessons in their subjects to help them teach their pupils better, the KZN Education Summit resolved when it ended in Durban.

The three-day conference was aimed at tackling the province’s education problems and served as a platform for discussion among education stakeholders.
“We cannot accept saying that maths and science are difficult subjects”, said Education MEC Senzo Mchunu.
“We are planning on creating programmes where teachers attend training sessions on weekends to be better able to assist pupils,” he said.

Mchunu said the weekend lessons should be implemented to help matric pupils finish their syllabus earlier and have more time for revision.

The summit was held as a success by stakeholders and union officials. SA Democratic Teachers Union provincial secretary, Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, said:
“We are generally happy with the outcome of the summit. We need to work towards teacher development and disciplinary action against pupils and teachers.”

Mchunu agreed that disciplinary procedures should be more efficient to ensure quicker resolution of charges.
“We cannot have teachers facing disciplinary action sitting at home for four years. If it takes that long, then there are problems within our department and that must no longer happen,” he said.

Other issues discussed at the summit included discipline, the shortage of teachers and social ills affecting pupils.
“We are planning to start campaigns against teenage pregnancies, drugs and HIV/Aids. These are the kinds of things that students fall victim to while at school. We also need parents to get involved and play a role. We need to form a pupil-teacher-parent alliance, “ said Mchunu.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union KZN chairman Zola Saphetha said he was happy with the outcome of the summit, but he would monitor how the department implemented its resolution.

By: Kyle Venktess