Government pleased with class attendance on first day of first term, pledges to improve conditions of service

By Justin Mahlahla

GOVERNMENT says it is pleased with the teachers and school children attendance levels as schools opened for this year’s first term today.

In a statement, the Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs Thumisang Thabela said: “Government is pleased to note that schools have opened, and that the majority of teachers reported for duty, and that the majority of schoolchildren were able to attend classes.”

“In instances where students and pupils were unable to attend, Government awaits definitive information on the reasons, so as to respond appropriately. Regrettably, Government has noted that, in a few instances, learners were barred from accessing schools,” she added.

Mrs Thabela said Government has been in discussion with its workers in the framework of the National Joint Negotiating Council, and, in its continuing sensitivity to the needs of its workers, is committed to the shared aspiration for the continuous improvement of conditions of service in the entire civil service.

She said: “In that regard, Government is seized with the positive adjustment of conditions for its workers within the current budgetary framework. Those adjustments will be announced soon, when specific details have been finalized by Treasury.

“Government urges its workers to report faithfully at their workstations to ensure uninterrupted delivery of services to the public.”

She warned schools that reportedly sent pupils back home that the government will take appropriate measures against them.

“Access to education is the inalienable right of every child. Deliberate interference with that right is a grave affront to the child, as well as to parents and guardians, apart from being an act of misconduct which cannot be tolerated. Consequently, appropriate measures will be taken in line with relevant procedures.”