Unfit teachers, a time bomb to lim learners

Jacques Smalle (MPL)

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

The troubled Education department of Limpopo province continues to demonstrate its carelessness on feeding school going learners with proper and quality education.

The DA has noted with concern the alarming figures regarding the processing of incapacity leave and ill-health retirement applications of educators and non-educators in Limpopo.

A written  reply to DA’s  posed parliamentary questions about the existing backlog of leave applications revealed that  educators who are unfit due to ill health reasons are forced to continue educating learners while their incapacity leave applications gather dust and are unattended to at the department, at least according to the department  of  Basic Education.

Although the department argued that the backlog was created by the suspension of services of the new Panel of Accredited Health Risk Managers at the end of 2012, which was due to legal action brought in the High Court by an unsuccessful bidder, the DA worries that there is no action plan whatsoever to ensure that such teachers are relieved and replaced by new teachers in a bid of quality education.

New Health Risk Managers have been appointed. The problem that remains is that these new HRM’s have been tasked with only  processing applications that  were submitted from the 1st of Nov 2013.

From 1 Jan 2013- 31 October, there have been 234 unprocessed applications.

  • 57 Short term capacity
  • 130 Long Term capacity
  • 47 Ill health retirement

The DA finds this unacceptable that our children’s education is compromised by having teachers who are physically challenged and can therefore not give their utmost best in ensuring quality output.

The DA will pose written questions to find out the department’s action plan regarding the matter.  We urge the MEC of Education to be proactive and work in collaboration with the Department of Public Service and Administration in ensuring this matter is resolved urgently.