A Khulumani member from Whittlesea, a Grade R teacher, has called together all Grade R teachers in the district to compile a list of grievances to deal with the discriminatory treatment of both Grade R teaches and learners from across the Eastern Cape:
At the end of April, no Grade R teachers in the province apparently received their salaries. In addition, school authorities in many areas do not include the Grade R learners as recipients of the school-feeding that is provided, despite the evidence that adequate feeding of young children is the greatest investment to make in a child's future to ensure maximal brain development.
The framework proposed by the Imfundo Citizens Education Reform Network, a network of black professionals from across the Eastern Cape, on What Each Child Needs, is being used as a framework for their advocacy efforts. Please see the IMFUNDO blog at http://imfundo.wordpress.com/what-each-child-needs/
What each child needs is detailed as:
- A desk and chair in a durable classroom that can withstand the elements;
- with the prescribed textbook for every subject, supplemented by access to enjoyable reading material in their mother tongue and other world languages;
- in a safe, clean, pleasant feeling school that serves decent nutritious meals;
- with professional, caring and valued teachers, accountable to sound management and citizens at large.
Khulumani members speak of the time when every school was regarded as a community asset and what happened in the school was the responsibility of every adult in the community (not only of individuals elected to a School Governing Body where the educators exercise greater authority than the parents who often acutely feel their own lack of adequate eduction due to their involvement in struggle activities. Communities are working towards reclaiming their power to see effective learning and teaching happening in schools in community so that each child's potential future is not stolen from them through malfunctioning and malperformance of those tasked with responsibilities for education.