As the 18th NEC of COSAS in the Republic of South Africa and the revolutionary paragons of academic excellence in our current democratic revolution. We have noted with a great concern the challenges that our students are confronted with during their final examination. We encourage all the parents of students who are writing their final examinations and we have also noted that some of the parents do not give their children emotional support and some parents do not assist them with learning materials, so that they can be able to perform well and pass their final examinations.
We have also received number complains from our students that they are struggling to register as candidates to write their final examinations because they do not have Identity documents. We are therefore calling upon the officials of Department of Home Affairs across the country to work in partnership with the Leadership of COSAS and to embark on a strategic campaign of registering and encouraging matriculants and students in our schools to apply for smart cards and identity documents, so that they cannot experience challenges of not being registered in the education system as matriculants.
As the current National leadership of COSAS we would like to encourage and advise our students that are within the territory of South Africa to remain resilient, focused and dedicated throughout the period of their final examinations and avoid being defocused by challenges that they are faced with in their final examination. We would also like to encourage the matriculants to have goals and develop strategies which will guide them on how to build their future and how to achieve their goals.
ON THE FEES COMMISSION REPORT
As the revolutionary student organisation and the political school of excellence in the republic, we are very much disappointed on the report that has been released on fee free education at tertiary institutions because it does not speak volume on how the struggle for free education at tertiary education can be achieved and how to assist academically deserving students who come from impoverished backgrounds, with funds so that they can be able pursue their studies at tertiary institutions.
Our revolutionary view as the battalions of the student revolution is that the ANC must implement policies that they have designed in the Mangaung conference and implement them in government because the ANC in Mangaung developed and designed strategic revolutionary discussion documents and other strategic political manuscripts which speaks volume on how to propel the struggle for decommodification of education at tertiary institutions. As per the Mangaung resolution that delegates of the ANC took, a decision to adopt a policy on free education and the ANC in umrabulo discussion document of 2015 took a decision to implement free education at tertiary, but up to so far, those resolutions have not yet been implemented therefore we are calling upon the leadership of the ANC to implement policies of the ANC in government.
ON THE SASA DOCUMENT
The draft bill seeks to give the Head of Department the final authority to admit a pupil to a public school. The SGB of a public school must submit the admission policy of the school, and any amendment thereof, to the Head of Department for approval.
* According to the draft bill the code of conduct of a public school must take into account the diverse cultural beliefs and religious observances of the learners at the school and makes provision for an exemption clause, making it possible to exempt learners, upon application, from complying with the code of conduct or certain provisions thereof, on just cause shown.
* The bill also seeks to limit the powers of a SGB in regard to recommending candidates for appointment. The SGB will be able to recommend to the Head of Department the appointment of post level 1 educators only, with the selection and appointment of educators on post levels 2 to 4 being the sole responsibility of the Head of Department.
* The draft bill will also empower the Head of Department to dissolve a SGB that has ceased to perform functions allocated to if in terms of the Act, if the Head of Department has reasonable grounds to do so.
* It also stipulates that the subsidy granted to an independent school can be made subject to conditions determined by the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) of that province.
* The draft bill also seeks to prohibit educators from conducting business with the State or from being a director of a public or private company conducting business with the State, and makes it an offence for an educator to do so.
* The SGB will also be required to submit the language policy of a public school, and any amendment thereof, to the Head of Department for approval.
* The draft bill requires any SGB member to declare a direct or indirect personal interest he/she or any of his or her family members has and, under such circumstances, to be recused from the procurement of goods and services on behalf of the public school.
* It also seeks to empower the HOD to: (a) authorise officers (as defined in the SASA) to conduct an investigation into the financial affairs of a public school and after consultation with the governing body; (b) request the Auditor -General to undertake an audit of the records and financial statements of a public school.
* Finally, the bill requires the SGB to seek the approval of the MEC to enter into lease agreements, for any purpose, including loans and overdrafts which are already provided for in the said section.
In conclusion as the revolutionary student movement we will continue to encourage our students to focus on their school work and work very hard so that they can further their studies at tertiary institutions because education is one of the strategic tools and miracle cures that can be used to eradicate the current triple challenges that are affecting our people.
The struggle for decommodification of education continues.
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