The ACDP welcomes the efforts and courage of homeschooling parents and especially the homeschooled children who made submissions on the proposed BELA Bill this past weekend in KwaZulu-Natal.
It is our view that Parliament would be ignoring the strong and clear voices of parents who rejected the proposed amendments contained in Clauses 41, 37, and 27 – and it should be evident that these clauses need to be amended. These clauses undermine the rights of families and communities to decide what, where, and how their children learn.
What was particularly notable was that homeschooled learners unanimously rejected Clause 37 on homeschooling. The Children’s Act requires these submissions to be seriously considered.
The ACDP noted that the Teachers’ Union SADTU was bussed in to Pinetown in a vain attempt to try and save this proposed legislation. This Bill was roundly rejected in Gauteng, Pietermaritzburg, and marginally supported in Jozini, and so it was evident that desperate measures were required.
SADTU was particularly very strongly opposed to Homeschooling, but it was clear that they do not understand homeschooling and irrationally accused homeschoolers of racist motives whilst it was obvious to all solely on the evidence of their eyes that the homeschoolers came from all racial, ethnic, and religious groups. It was the homeschoolers who provided an example of the rainbow nation SADTU claims to support. True unity in diversity that is not uniformity.
It is reasonable to expect that a teacher’s union would be opposed to ordinary citizens doing a job without remuneration that takes customers away from their place of work. What is not reasonable is that large numbers of their members merely stood up to say they support the Bill. This is not the level of intellectual engagement we expect from our teachers. It would appear from their uncritical support of the Bill that SADTU wholehearted is in support of the sale of alcohol on school premises, that they support the closure of schools with less than 135 learners – without reasons being given – and ultimately that they support schools facilitating abortions for learners as young as the age of twelve. The latter should not perhaps surprise us considering how many learners are impregnated at school.
The question we ask is, why would SADTU operate as minds for rent and ideological zombies, who fail to interrogate legislation that would, in the long term, leave many of their colleagues in rural areas without work?
The hour is long past for a Christian Teacher’s Union to be formed that will uphold Godly governance and work with and not against parents, that will fight ideological coercion in the class, and show true solidarity with the teachers in the small rural schools that SADTU has no problem allowing the Minister to close without giving any reasons.
If you share this prophetic vision for a Christian Teacher’s Union, I urge you to contact me or my office. I issue this call to all teachers, irrespective of political allegiance. Forward to the day when SADTU can no longer say they are the largest teacher’s union.