DA commends smooth start of school year, but teacher vacancies problematic

By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education:

The DA commends schools that ensured that learning began on the first day of the school calendar despite the continuous shortage of teachers in many schools.

During oversight visits today to schools in the Province, the DA has noted that lack of teachers still remains an enormous concern.

The DA uncovered today that the principal of a school in Musina is demanding R200 from the parents to pay an extra teacher to teach more than 50 Grade 1 learners, because no teacher has been appointed or supplied for that class.

The parents have already spent their last money on buying new uniforms and stationery.  The DA believes that there might be more schools that are facing the similar crisis of shortage of teachers.

According to Annual Performance Plan (APP) , the department failed to employ 4000 teachers and to absorb all temporary teachers in 2014/2015 financial year and for 2015/2016 , the department must employ 8,600 new teachers.

In another incident, 500 school learners of Kings Court School could not start their first day of school due to no electricity and water in Letaba due to the current municipal workers “go slow” strike.

Although teaching and learning began well, the DA remains concerned that some of the challenges facing our schools in 2016 are known challenges dating as far back as 2008 which have not been rectified by this ANC government.

The quality of education in our province is constantly compromised by shortage of teachers and many are expected to educate our children without the necessary resources or training.

The DA will seek an urgent meeting with MEC Kgetjepe to discuss amongst others , scholar transport, shortage of teachers, employing all temporary teachers as well as safety of learners at schools.