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POINT OF VIEW OF THE DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH
IN CONNECTION WITH THE EDUCATION AND TEACHING

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Education is essential the transfer of values. The transfer of facts cannot be separated from the transfer of values. Values are not neutral, but emanate form a certain orientation of values (philosophy of life).

Christian values are rooted in the Bible as the infallible word of God. The results which are pursued as the ideal for the outcome-based education therefore also have to be submitted to the test of the Bible.

The meaning of "Christian education" is that tuition in schools should constantly keep the Bible and Christian principles in mind and that the faith of children from Christian homes should be built up and supported in stead of being demolished and contradicted.

The principle of freedom of religion must always be taken into consideration. Therefore the religious convictions of the parents have to be honoured as far as religious education and ceremonies are concerned. This implies that parents may demand the right for their children to practice their religion during school hours in the school buildings. Provided this is done in a reasonable way and that attendance is free and voluntary (SA Constitution, Art 15).

Education should contribute towards unlocking the God-given potential of every child. Equal and equality education is essential to ensure that every child develops his/her full potential to live to the honour and glory of God.

Education should empower the learner to make a constructive contribution within the wider South African community in his/her relationship to God and his/her neighbour, according to his/her unique potential.

PARTNERSHIP A CHARACTERISTIC OF TEACHING

Teaching happens within a partnership, the three partners being the child's home, the state and the church. Each of the partners should have the opportunity for meaningful participation in deliberations and the execution of its responsibilities..

THE TASK OF THE PARENTS

The parents are the primary educators who, according to the covenant and the baptism vow, have an intransferable and inalianable responsibility for the education and teaching of their children as gifts of God.

The task of the parent is inter alia co-determination of the spirit and the direction of the school, joint control over the appointment of the teachers, a voice in determining the contents of what is taught, joint control over the appointment of teachers, a voice in determining the contents of what is taught, and active support of the school according to his/her ability. The parent realises his/her involvement and say in education inter alia through the channels which the state has created for that purpose.

THE TASK OF THE STATE

The state bears the responsibility to see to it that education and teaching be regulated by legislation in such a manner that there is enough opportunity for every child to prepare himself/herself for his/her task in life according to ability, potential and interest and in accordance with his/her religious-philosophical conventions.

The church accepts that the state will make adequate provision for all those desiring a particular religious-philosophical accent in education and teaching.

The church accepts that the state is responsible for providing enough teachers to ensure effective teaching.

THE TASK OF THE CHURCH

The church has a supportive responsibility towards the home and the school in the transfer of Christian values. In the school, the situation of the transfer of values takes place out of the central truths of scripture, while dogmatic and confessional differences are pushed to the background. It is imperative to discern clearly between the supportive role of the church to the school in the transfer of values founded on the Bible, and the catechetical instruction according to the covenant, which is confessionally determined. These two things are not the same.

The church is, according to its assignment, co-responsible for the education and teaching of its children of the covenant. This assignment particularly involves appropriate and continuous pastoral accompaniment and support of learners and parents. In this manner the parents are supported in the fulfilment of their responsibility emanating from the baptism of their children. In the relationship of partnership the church has the responsibility continuously to give the necessary pastoral support to educators (teachers). The church acknowledges the strategic role the Christian educator is playing and states it as its purpose to encourage members to serve as teachers.

The church empowers and supports learners to choose consequently for Christian values and to utilize their influence within the structures of the school. Maintaining high standards of education is imperative so that children can be equipped for their stewardship in the kingdom of God. The church bears the responsibility to insist that the state maintain quality education as far as circumstances allow it. At the same time the church also has to urge its parents and children (members) to utilize their God-given educational opportunities optimally. The church can make a distinctive contribution towards the furthering of a general culture of learning in the schools. Quality education asks for an open approach and should not take place in isolation from the rest of society.

It is the responsibility of the church to strive towards equality of education for all children. The inequalities of the past have to be rectified so that all have the same opportunity for quality education.

It is a priority for the church to co-operate in the ecumenical field for the cause of the promotion of Christian education over a wide field. It is also important for the church to co-operate with non-church organisations towards the furthering of Christian education. The church has the responsibility in extreme cases where the school undermines the religious philosophy of life, to support the parents in establishing their own school, founded on Biblical principles.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Religious education forms an essential part of transferring values in education. For the church it is important that this religious education takes place from the point of departure of Christian values contained in the Bible. Apart from specifically Christian values, provision should be made for common values, valid for all South Africans.

RESOLUTION
General Synod accepts Appendix A6-2 as the point of view of the Dutch Reformed Church

OCTOBER 1998

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SET OF RULES FOR THE ICET

NAME
The name of the committee is: The Interdenominational Committee for Education and Teaching (ICET).

UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE
The underlying principle of the committee is: The Bible as the Word of God as is confessed in at least the three Doctrinal Standards.

PURPOSE
The purpose of the committee is:
The promotion of Christian education, teaching and training in all relevant fields.
The promotion of co-operation among the participating churches in all Christian educational matters of common interest.
Liaison and co-operation with the broad community in the interest of the Christian education.
Fulfilling the ecumenical calling and responsibility in the educational field.

COMPOSITION
The committee is composed as far as possible of two representatives each from the following participating churches:

Dutch reformed church
Uniting Reformed Church in South Africa
Dutch Reformed Church in Africa
Reformed Church in Africa
Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk of Africa
Nederduits Hervormde Kerk in Southern Africa
National Synod of the Gereformeerde Kerke in South Africa
Soutpansberg Synod of the Gereformeerde Kerke
Midlands Synod of the Gereformeerde Kerke

Provincial ICET's may at their own expense send one delegate with advisory vote
Experts co-opted by the by the ICET for a special purpose and a fixed period, with advisory vote. A few observers and co-workers from the other churches (at the invitation of the executive) with the privilege of addressing the meeting.

CONSTITUTING

ICET Annual General Meeting
The meeting of the ICET every second year chooses, under the chairmanship of the outgoing chairman, its own chairman, vice-chairman and secretary. The office-bearers must come from different denominations. The same person may not be elected to the same office for more than two consecutive terms.

Mandate of the executive
The executive deals with urgent matters, carries out the instructions of the ICET, prepares the agenda for the ICET meeting, together with a report on its activities, and prepares the annual financial report and the budget of the ICET, for the approval of the Annual general meeting.

MEETING
Annual General meeting
The ICET preferably meets once a year.
Special meetings
Special meetings are called by the chairman upon instruction of the executive.

Information meetings

The ICET arranges inter alia symposiums, workshops and information meetings for the benefit of education and teaching

FINANCES
The ICET annually determines the contributions of the synods of the participating churches to cover the collective costs. This is done at the recommendation of the executive after submitting the annual financial report and the budget. Every participating church is responsible for the costs of the travel, boarding and lodging of its own delegates. The executive submits at the annual general meeting a budget for the next year for approval. The books of the ICET are audited annually.

ALTERING THE SET OF RULES

The set of rules can be altered at an annual general meeting.

APPROVED ON 2 SEPTEMBER 1999.

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SOUTH AFRICAN COUNCIL FOR EDUCATORS
CODE OF CONDUCT

DEFINITIONS

In this code, unless the context indicates otherwise:

"educator" means any person who teaches, educates or trains their persons or provides professional therapy at any school, technical college or college or college of education or assists in rendering professional services or performs education management services or educational auxilliary services provided by or in a department of education, (and whose employment is regulated by the Educators Employment Act, 1994); and any other person registered with the council.
"learner" means a pupil or a student who is taught or trained by an educator as defined above;

"parent" means -
the parent or guardian of the learner
the person legally entitled to custody of a learner; or
the person who undertakes to fulfil the obligations of a person referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) towards the learner's education at school

PREAMBLE

The educators who are registered with the South african Council for educators - acknowledge the noble calling of their profession to educate and train the learners of our country;

acknowledge that the attitude, dedication, self-discipline, ideals, training and conduct of the teaching profession determine the quality of education in this country;

ackonwledge, uphold and promote basic human rights, as embodied in the Constitution of South Africa;

commit themselves to do all within their power, in the existing of their professional duties, to act in accordance with the ideals of their profession, as expressed in this code; and

act in a proper and becoming way such that their beahviour does not bring the teaching profession into disrepute.

CONDUCT: THE EDUCATOR AND THE LEARNER

An educator -
respects the dignity, beliefs and constitutional rights of learners and in particular children, which includes the right to privacy and confidentiality;
acknowledges the uniqueness, individuality, and specific needs of each learner, guiding and encouraging each to realise his or her potentialities;
strives to enable learners to develop a set of values cinsistent with those upheld in the Bill of Rights as contained in the Constitution of South Africa;
exercises authority with compassion;
avoids any form of humiliation, and refrains from any form of child abuse, physical or psychological;
promotes gender equality and refrains from any type of sexual relationship with learners or sexual harassment (physical or otherwise) of learners;
uses appropriate language and behaviour in his or her interaction with learners, and acts in such a way as to elicit respect from the learners;
takes reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the learner;
does not abuse the position he or she holds for financial, political or personal gain.

Is not negligent or indolent in the performance of his or her professional duties. Recognises, where appropriate, learners as partners in education.

CONDUCT: THE EDUCATOR AND THE PARENT

An educator, where apppropriate -
recognises the parents as partners in education, and promotes a harmonious relationship with them;
does what is parctically possible to keep parents adequately and timeously informed about the well-being and progress of the learner

CONDUCT: THE EDUCATOR AND THE COMMUNITY

An educator recognises that an educational institution serves the community, and therefore acknowledges that there wil be differing customs, codes and beliefs in the community.

CONDUCT: THE EDUCATOR AND HIS OR HER COLLEAGUES

An educator -
refrains form undermining the status and authority of his or her colleagues;
promotes gender equality and refrains from sexual harassment (physical or otherwise) of his or her colleagues;
respects the various responsibilities assigned to colleagues and the autority that arises therefrom, to ensure the smooth running of the educational institution;
uses proper procedures to address issues of professional incompetence or misbehaviour.

CONDUCT: THE EDUCATOR AND THE PROFESSION

An eduactor -
acknowledges that the exercising of his or her professional duties occurs within a context requiring co-operation with and and support of colleagues, and therefor behaves in such a way as to enhance the dignity and status of the profession.
keeps abreast of educational trends and developments;
promotes the ongoing development of teaching as a profession.
Accepts that he or she has a professional obligation towards the education and induction into the profession of new members of the teaching profession.

CONDUCT: THE EDUCATOR AND HIS OR HER EMPLOYER

An educator -
regocnises the employer as a partner in education;
acknowledges that certain responsibilities and authorities are vested in the employer through legislation, and serves his or her employer to the best of his ability;
refrains from discussing confidential and official matters with unauthorised persons.

CONDUCT: THE EDUCATOR AND THE COUNCIL
An educator -
co-operates with the South African Council for Educators to the best of their ability;
accepts and complies wiht the Disciplinary Powers and Procedures of the Soputh African Council for Educators.

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