DoE must fix Grade R teacher issues instead of arguing with A-G

By Mbali Ntuli, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Education:

THE Democratic Alliance in KZN is disappointed by the Department of Basic Education department’s response to Auditor-General, Kimi Makwetu’s Education report on Grade R teacher qualifications.

According to the AG, 16 520 out of a total of 21 207 Grade R educators in the country are unqualified.  The department has disputed the figure, claiming that, according to its own audit, there are 12 336 unqualified teachers at that level.

The difference between these two figures is really not the point.  That the DBE has failed to recognize this displays a remarkable lack of insight.

In not dealing with the issue of unqualified teachers and not providing the proper building blocks to form a strong foundation, learners are effectively being condemned for the rest of their education.

The DA in KZN expects Education MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni to produce her department’s plan to improve the number of Grade R teachers in this province who are properly trained at the next meeting of the KZN education portfolio committee.

We also reiterate our call that all teachers are regularly assessed and given the requisite capacity development should it be required.

An excellent education is not a favour from government – it is a right.