EC teacher crisis – more funding will be unwise

Edmund van Vuuren MPL

DA Shadow MEC for Education

The Eastern Cape Department of Education’s decision to seek additional funding from the Treasury to appoint more teachers instead of redeploying current excess teachers will not bring an end to the education crisis in the province. It will be truly unwise of the Treasury to agree to this funding request, because the department will simply not sort out its staffing issues.

An announcement whether the department’s request is granted will be made tomorrow (subs: Thursday, 14 Feb).

This is yet another destructive action by the department to avoid further confrontation with the South African Teachers Union (Sadtu).

The DA believes that the Education Department must take strong action against all teachers refusing reassignment and schools must be allowed to appoint temporary teachers. We also call on SADTU to stop resisting the reassignment of teachers.

We believe that teachers who cannot be redeployed and who do not fit the profile of substantive vacant posts should be offered a severance package without penalties if they are within the 50-60 years age cohort.

It is time that the department gets tough. Unless teachers move from where they are in excess and we find that there are still vacancies thereafter, additional funding will only make the situation worse.

A “year of action” in education cannot mean that the Department and SADTU continue playing with the futures of our children. Learners cannot continue to be caught in the crossfire between unions and the department.

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