Education MEC has no plan for Afrikaans speaking teacher shortage

Edmund van Vuuren (MPL)

Shadow MEC for Education

Eastern Cape MEC for Education Mandla Makupula has no plan to solve the shortage of Afrikaans speaking teachers for schools in the northern areas of Port Elizabeth.

I was most disappointed with the MECs weak response during an interview last night (subs:  Sunday, 7 September) on Fokus on SABC 3, where he was given the platform to explain his department’s solutions to the ongoing education crisis in the Eastern Cape.    He has no plan, nor solutions for the northern areas, where learners are predominantly Afrikaans-speaking.

The MEC failed to inform the public that the department does not have enough teachers who can teach in Afrikaans.  He also failed to mention that the number of Funza Lushaka bursary holders suitable to be placed at these schools has been exhausted.

I have put workable solutions on the table repeatedly.  It is a great pity that the MEC refuses to take all suggestions into consideration for the sake of the future of our children.

I call on the MEC as well as school principals and teachers to be pro-active by implementing the following solutions:

  • Motivate Afrikaans speaking teachers from English and Xhosa medium schools to avail themselves for absorption into the existing substantive vacant posts at our Afrikaans medium schools and simultaneously re-assign teachers to the posts that are left vacant through this absorption process;
  • Ensure that schools submit names of individuals with the appropriate qualifications and recommend them as suitable candidates for substantive vacant posts;
  • Rationalisation of small and unviable schools must be fast tracked especially in Afrikaans-speaking areas so that teachers are free to fill posts at other Afrikaans medium schools;
  • Reallocation of work responsibilities so that opportunities are created for which teachers on the excess list may be reappointed;
  • Schools need to advertise posts that have not been filled, identify suitable candidates and submit the names of these candidates to district offices; and
  • Permanently appoint the remainder of Funza Lushaka bursary holders in substantive vacant posts.

The DA is embarking on a #1Classroom1teacher campaign.  Join us.  Look out for the DA-pickets and sign our petition.  We must do what we can to bring this teacher shortage to an end.

I challenge the MEC to put his clear plans on the table that will resolve the critical shortages within our Afrikaans speaking schools.  He refers to excess teachers currently in the system, but they do not fit into these existing profiles of substantive vacant posts neither  do the available Funza Lushaka bursary holders in the province.  What plans do you have MEC, to secure a teacher for each and every classroom in our Afrikaans speaking schools?