It has been revealed in Parliament that the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) continues to block the implementation of principal performance agreements across the country.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) failed to indicate the proportion of principals who signed performance agreements in its Annual Performance Plan because according to the Auditor-General’s office the DBE is “currently negotiating with Unions on the matter.”
In other words, SADTU is preventing the implementation of principal performance agreements.
School leadership is often the decisive factor that determines whether a school succeeds or fails. It is, therefore, crucial that principals adhere to basic performance standards in order to improve the quality of education in public schools.
In 2012 the DBE promised that all principals would have performance contracts signed by the end of the year. That never materialised because of SADTU resistance. In 2014, the Minister again announced in Parliament that the plan would be implemented.
It’s been 5 Years since Motshekga promised performance contracts and DBE is still ‘negotiating’ with SADTU on what should be a basic aspect of employee contracts.
The impact of failing to implement principal performance contracts is serious. A reply to a parliamentary question received last year revealed that no principal has been dismissed for poor performance in the past five years, despite the many schools that continue to offer children a sub-standard education.
SADTU has been allowed to block accountability in our school system for too long. The DA has written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Ms. Nomalungelo Gina, to request that she summon Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, to explain the delay in implementing the performance agreements.
Minister Motshekga needs to stop caving into SADTU and take control. The children of this country deserve Principals who perform excellently and, when they don’t, are held to account for poor performance.