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Teachers’ union denounces church reform plea: The Church of England Newspaper, October 24, 2013 October 27, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church of England Newspaper.

South Africa’s Teacher’s Union has denounced a plea from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa to devote itself to teaching and eschew politics, saying the church had become a tool of “imperialist” parasites and an ally of reactionary politicians.

Secular and religious education was among the chief topics of debate at the ACSA synod last week. Delegates gathered in Benoni, a suburb of Johannesburg, urged Anglican members of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) to “either to transform the trade union into a body that truly serves the cause of education, or resign from Sadtu,” a church press release stated.

With 260,000 members the SADTU represents approximately 70 per cent of the country’s state school teachers. A political ally of the ruling African National Congress, the union has been criticized by education reformers for its frequent strikes, poor teaching standards and alleged corruption.

The synod denounced teacher “corruption and laziness which deprives our children of the education they deserve” and called upon the union to “refrain from destructive stay-aways.”

In a statement released last week, Sadtu responded the church’s complaints about the country’s poor state schools were misplaced. “We maintain that the majority of our members are dedicated to the profession but are frustrated by the fact that they are not receiving sufficient support like resources to teach in schools and are not sufficiently developed in order to teach the new curriculum.”

The church should stay out of politics, the union said. Its condemnation was an “opportunist”, “antagonistic” and “reactionary resolution”.

“We reject the synod’s call with the contempt it deserves and its attempt to interfere in labour issues and the rights that we fought for.”

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