By Edmund van Vuuren (MPL), Shadow MEC for Education:
The Democratic Alliance (DA) commends the Department of Education (DOE) for issuing memorandum 35 of 2015 which states that professionally qualified practitioners can be appointed permanently in mainstream school systems with effect from 1 April 2015.
Grade R practitioners who have obtained professional education qualifications will now be absorbed into substantive vacant posts within the education system.
It is incumbent upon the principals of schools to inform professionally qualified practitioners of any suitable vacancies within the foundation phase at their current school. The offer must be made and the principal needs to indicate that there is a substantive vacancy. The onus is then on the Grade R teacher to accept or decline the post. This offer is unfortunately not applicable to practitioners with only grade 12 or NQF4 qualifications.
This memorandum, with its good intentions, has only been forwarded to schools on Tuesday, 29 September 2015, and principals were supposed to inform the district offices of all qualifying practitioners by Friday, 2 October 2015. The DA is appealing to DOE to extend this deadline due to the short notice period in order for all school principals to comply.
An opportunity has been created for practitioners to be permanently appointed and therefore the DA will encourage Grade R practitioners to obtain the necessary qualifications in order to get the much needed job security with benefits that has been alluding them.