Teacher vacancies denying learners’ right to education

By Dr Tutu Faleni MPL, DA North West Education Spokesperson:

The Democratic Alliance in North West written to the Education MEC Ms Wendy Matsemela to request her the timeline for the filling of over 900 teacher vacancies in the province.

The DA is concerned after more than 900 teachers in the North West have resigned between June and July this year. What is more concerning is that the Education Department does not seem to have a strategy in place to retain these highly skilled and competent teachers who have in the past contributed to the success in our schools.

The high number of resignations of teachers raises a question of stability for the education system in the North West.

In a recent Provincial Education Portfolio committee meeting it was revealed that it takes more than two months to appoint temporary teachers to fill in the vacant posts.

The process takes so long that some schools are left without teachers for months.

In April this year, the Department of Education was placed under administration by North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo due to financial mismanagement and instability.

As a result the DA feels that the co-management of the Education Department by Treasury will, in the long run, compromise the quality of education.

The North West Treasury’s protracted red tape is worsening delays in the appointment of temporary teachers.

It has been on the Provincial Education Portfolio Committee’s agenda to prioritize the filling in of temporary positions and to date nothing has actually materialized.

The DA urges the Provincial Treasury and Education Department to eradicate the red tape of appointing temporary teachers and to urgently fill vacant posts.

The DA requests the MEC of Education to also launch an investigation into the reasons for the high number of resignation and to table a strategy to combat this.

The right to education is enshrined in our constitution and it is the responsibility of the Department of Education to ensure teachers are made available to realise this.