Young Educators Exchange Experience

Young educators from ONP Mozambique visited their counterparts in Eswatini from 7th to 9th December. This was a follow-up visit of the SNAT young educators to Mozambique from the 23rd to the 25th of October.  The visits comprised 10 young male and female educators from the visiting young educators meeting their counterparts to visit schools the local union offices and other entities. Two young educators from SADTU and NAPTOSA in South Africa also joined the visit.
 
The young educators then exchanged their impressions of the conditions under which educators worked in a workshop where they were updated on the history and current situation in the host country by the local union leaders. They also discussed the situation in their respective unions and how the organisations operated. 
 
In the discussions, the young educators singled out some similarities in the countries; In all countries, teachers were paid a salary. The teacher/ pupil ratios were high in both countries although they were much higher in Mozambique. Governments were reluctant to hire more teachers to address the teacher gap. Educator’s salaries were quite low in both cases compared to the salaries of educators in South Africa. Governments in both countries infringed on the operations of the teacher organisations.
 
The young educators also identified several differences. While SNAT, the educators union Eswatini, was formed by the teachers themselves, ONP, the teachers union in Mozambique was formed by FRELIMO, the ruling party. This implies that while members were recruited by SNAT, teachers were conscripted into ONP. SNAT members paid membership dues of 0.7% of their basic salary while ONP members contributed 120 Meticals or 1.7 euros voluntarily. As such while SNAT has regular finances, ONP is financially constrained.  Teachers in Eswatini are given accommodation and where the school does not have accommodation, they are given an accommodation and transport allowance, whereas teachers were not provided with any accommodation.
 
SNAT is recognized as a union with labour rights, while ONP cannot perform as a union because it is not registered as such. However, although SNAT is fully recognized, it suffers from a lot of union bashing at the hands of government functionaries preventing them from operating freely. Nevertheless, ONP young educators observed that SNAT had very good infrastructure and projects that boosted the welfare of their members. They also maintained a database of its membership.
 
It also emerged that Mozambique schools operated several shifts, while Eswatini had a single shift. The two or three shifts raised the question of the quality of education in Mozambique. Eswatini also had school meals for children while Mozambique did not provide students with school meals.
 
The young educators also shared reports from the young educators who attended the SAYEN launch, the young educators forum, and the 10th Africa Regional Conference. They appreciated the resolution on the Young educators and the process through which it was developed. They resolved to push similar recommendations on young members through their executive councils. In so doing they would create more platforms for young members in their unions. They resolved to provide more capacity building and improve communication for young members.
 
They young educators put in place a strategy to strengthen the Southern Africa Young Educators Forum (SAYEN). A female and male were identified from each of the three countries to move the network forward. Loyce Jama and FranciscoClesio Amado represented ONP, Mamba Faith and Dlamini Mophilolehle of SNAT, and Michelle Mosopye and Xolani Dube of NAPTOSA and SADTU respectively. 

[Mon, 11 Dec 2023 15:09:00 +0100] | DIGG THIS

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