By BO Staff Writer
The radical Black Consciousness movement, Black First Land First (BLF), has called upon the government of South Africa and the largest teacher’s trade union, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), to approach our Zimbabwean neighbors to come to the rescue of the ailing South African education system. The call was made at the National Strategic Planning meeting (NSP) that was held in Durban last week by BLF. In a statement released yesterday, the movement said that it is again “appalled by the failure to provide quality education for blacks in SA”. BLF was reacting to the announcement that the Department of Education has yet again lowered the Mathematics pass rate to 20%. The movement said that this decision was “a recipe for disaster. It’s the surest way of maintaining the two tier racist system of education where blacks are trained to be servants and whites to be our masters.”
BLF said, “[t]his situation is at a crisis point and needs decisive leadership.” The movement pointed out that it’s basic policy document called the Black Agenda, “has already proposed a short term solution envisaging the best possible results. Let the Zimbabweans with “O” and “A” levels be hired in our schools to teach English and Mathematics alongside our teachers.” The movement assured the South African teachers that the call shall not lead to them losing their employment. To this end it said, “[n]o one loses any job and our black children would benefit to no end. Empty pride won’t help us. The Zimbabweans are already here and better equipped in these subjects.”
BLF sees its call for Zimbabweans to co-teach in public schools in the critical areas of English and Mathematics as a reflection of true Pan Afrikanism. In this regard the movement said, “[l]ets integrate and benefit both our people here and in Zimbabwe”.
BLF will be requesting, via a letter, a meeting with SADTU. It will also approach the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, for a meeting so as to advance its proposals to help end the education crisis in SA. It remains to be seen if these proposals shall be accepted.
The national leadership of BLF was mandated by the NSP to also investigate other means of addressing the crisis in anticipation of resistance from the government and SADTU in this regard. A resolution to form the Black Educators Forum (BEF) was taken to pilot the proposal to use both university students and the Zimbabweans to alleviate the crisis in our education system.