The teacher union joined South Africans and the world in proudly celebrating International Nelson Mandela Day on July 18.
THE SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) believes that while schools across the country still endure many inequalities, former president Nelson Mandela’s dream for equal education for all can be realised.
The teacher union joined South Africans and the world in proudly celebrating Mandela’s birthday on July 18.
Sadtu media officer Nomusa Cembi said Mandela was loved and honoured by many for his work with children around the world.
Cembi said he had used his strong belief in education for all as a tool to change the lives of children.
Looking at the state of education in South Africa, Cembi said there was still a long way to go because segregation and racism are still experienced in schools.
“Schools in rural areas and townships are not as resourced as many others, particularly former Model C schools. So we still have unequal distribution of resources in our schools,” she said.
Cembi said that for education to be equal among South African children, the government needed to put in an effort and provide more resources to disadvantaged schools to close or narrow the gap.
“Put in more functional libraries in both rural and township schools. Now, with the presence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), we saw during the pandemic that township and rural areas suffered and could not access education tools online because they did not have the gadgets. Some were not even contacted because their areas have network and connectivity problems. A lot still needs to be done to bring in equality,” she said.
In terms of improving rural and township schools, Cembi said that while Sadtu was a trade union movement and not involved in budget allocations, they constantly pushed the education department to prioritise these two areas.
Cembi said Sadtu is also trying to stay on top of the 4IR, and had instituted workshops so their members can master robotics and the 4IR concept.
“We are trying our best to assist our members to be on par.
“We are always prepared to do our best and ensure that the African child receives quality public education because that is what Mandela wanted, so we need that for us too,” she said.