Tom Stokes, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Education
Despite the current crisis over skilled educators in KwaZulu-Natal, almost half of the teachers that graduated during 2012 are yet to be placed at schools in the province.
The information is the result of a string of complaints received by the DA, from recently qualified teachers, over the contradictory articles in the press when it comes to teacher shortages. The DA then investigated the matter and also asked questions of the department itself.
The department, in response to the DA, has confirmed that a staggering 750 out of approximately 1 900 graduate teachers are waiting to be deployed by the department. The problem is compounded by the fact that there are some 14 000 unqualified educators teaching at schools in the province.
Of the 1 900 graduates;
– 800 of the 1 008 on Funza bursaries have been placed at schools
– 71 of the 87 on MEC bursaries have been placed at schools
– 272 of the 800 graduates reliant on “other funding” have been placed at schools.
The department has further claimed that it is “not yet finished placements”. The academic year began six weeks ago – either senior education officials have not yet conveyed the teacher shortage crisis to their HR colleagues, or there is simply a chronic lack of urgency surrounding this matter.
Quite simply these newly graduated teachers should be immediately placed in schools where their skills are urgently required and as soon as possible retrench the equivalent number of teachers who are temporarily employed as they are unqualified. It is just not acceptable that the department is so tardy in its response to what is an annual staffing exercise.