Commission to examine teachers' salaries

Zuma says educators need to make classrooms centres of excellence and prepare future leaders.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma says South African educators need to make classrooms centres of excellence and prepare future leaders capable of managing the economy.

Zuma on Thursday addressed the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) at its national congress which is currently underway in Boksburg.

He also called on teachers to encourage the teaching of indigenous languages.

Zuma told delegates that former chief justice Sandile Ncgobo would head a commission to look into teachers' salaries.

The president also said South African teachers must strive for quality results in the classroom.

"Our schools must become centres of excellence which promote hard work and performance amongst our teachers and learners."

Zuma said pupils should leave school feeling empowered and ready to lead the country.

"Our education system should empower our youth to run and manage this modern economy and lead our country to prosperity."

The president also told delegates that a commission set up to investigate their salary queries has already started its work.

Zuma said the value of teaching history as a compulsory subject would instil a greater sense of post-apartheid South African heritage in the youth.

"As educators, you are well placed to understand the value of this call and details thereof. Our children, black and white, should know the evils of colonialism, racism and apartheid."

The gathering kicked off with delegates struggling to agree on a set of rules to govern the meeting.

In response, Zuma called for unity.