Criticism has been directed towards the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) for allegedly standing in the way of quality education in the country.
The union has been accused of selling teaching and principal posts in exchange for bribes, but denied any involvement in the alleged corrupt activity.
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According to Thulani Zengele, Associate Professor at Unisa’s College of Education, South African teacher unions interfere with the education of youth with their active involvement in filling promotional teaching posts.
They don't play the role of observer in the process. Instead, unions come with their own list of recommended candidates and ensure that they get the positions. Former comrades are infiltrating the education system from the top, right down to the schools.— Thulani Zengele, Associate P rofessor at Unisa’s College of Education
Zengele says that the Employment of Educators Act of 1998 clearly explains that unions are only met to observe during recruitment processes.
In his research, Zengele found that unions recommended a list of candidates for promotional posts and have strong political agendas.
Department of Basic Education (DBE) Minister Angie Motshekga on Tuesday said that Sadtu ‘exploits the culture of chaos' in rural provincial education departments.
Despite a pending investigation by the DBE, there have been reports that investigators have found Sadtu members to have “infiltrated that department and run a complex patronage system".
Zengele says that the perception of teaching has moved from a form of leadership to a form of income.
He advises that the recruitment processes in education should be assigned to independent employment agencies and that qualifications should be audited.
Listen to the full conversation, with Koketso Sachane standing in, on The Redi Tlhabi Show: