PE Northern Areas school closures: school management teams must communicate with parents

By Edmund van Vuuren (MPL), Shadow MEC for Education:

The management teams at schools in the northern areas of Port Elizabeth that have been forced to close by parents must ensure that they inform communities about staff allocations by the Department of Education.

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The DA commends the Eastern Cape Department of Education for the efforts it has made in reducing the number of vacant posts in the Port Elizabeth district and we urge schools, especially in the northern areas to keep parents informed of these improvements.

The closure of schools by parents in the northern areas of Port Elizabeth since Monday is not in the interest of the education of our children.

Out of a total of 121 posts that were approved by the department for the Port Elizabeth district, 82 were allocated to the northern areas.   Whether this has been relayed to schools is another matter.  However, if the schools were indeed informed, and failed to find suitable educators, they cannot blame any other stakeholder for vacancies not being filled.

I urge school management teams where schools are currently closed, to communicate the department’s efforts to the parents.    This includes:

  • Whether the school had forwarded their number of vacancies to the department at the beginning of the year;
  • Whether the school had received a response from the department and if the filling of vacancies had been approved and if not, what the reasons were;  and
  • If posts had been approved, whether the school had indeed made efforts to find suitable teachers – ultimately it is up to the school management team to find the right teachers.

We trust that the department will continue to address the vacancies at all schools in the province.  MEC Makupula, don’t backslide!

Education offers the opportunities necessary to improve one’s circumstances in life.  Every effort must be made to ensure that our children are given a fair chance, by ensuring that they do not miss out on even a day’s school.

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