NTEU has accepted the invitation by Minister Nzimande to attend the DST parliamentary budget vote this afternoon. NTEU is represented by National President, Dimakatso Peo, and is eagerly anticipating a forward-thinking budget.
“By grouping higher education with science and technology, the President has made universities the epicentre of the 4th industrial revolution”, Grant Abbott, NTEU General Secretary. “We anticipate that the capacity of this department would be able to address issues around interactivity and engagement throughout the sector.”, Abbott continued.
NTEU expects that the department would work closely with universities and TVETs in identifying the best means and platforms to service both the students and staff.
It has been mentioned by the minister that “a single ministry offers the country with a unique set of strategic opportunities to realign, reposition and project their joint capabilities in new ways.”
The department finds itself in the perfect position to roll out various hotspots for students without internet access and to connect the staff and students in real time, with more submersive engagements.
NTEU believes there is a need for the department to investigate a more inclusive milieu for higher learning, which, given technological advancements may include an expanding to virtual, e-learning campuses.
NTEU also remains concerned about the normalisation of student protests and violence on campuses and continued sexual assaults. “We would like to know what the new updated strategies are to address the psychological and emotional wellbeing of our colleagues, students and their parents, and how the budget will be aligned to achieve these strategies”, said Jako Nel, NTEU National Marketing Officer.
However, the department will fall greatly short of its objectives should it fail to intentionally address the trend of corruption and poor leadership at universities and TVET’s. NTEU President, Dimakatso Peo stated, “As a result of “soft” oversight, staff continue to be under threat of retrenchment. South Africa cannot intend to champion access to higher education without protecting its educators! The 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us, but our ability to compete globally is being hampered by bad management and corruption-riddled leadership.”.
“The department must acknowledge the cycle of abuse within these institutions and come to the table. If difficult decisions must be taken, then the Minister must take them!”, the President demanded.
(NTEU General Secretary)
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NTEU is a politically non-aligned trade union organizing exclusively in the Higher Education sector and is aligned to FEDUSA, the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa.