By Dr Tutu Faleni (MPL), DA NW spokesperson on Education:
The Democratic Alliance in the North West is deeply concerned about the critical shortage of teachers in the majority of schools in the province. Furthermore is the lack of resources like tables and chairs unacceptable.
During an oversight visit in Majakaneng all the schools visited reported a critical shortage of teachers.
Some leaners at Seroophathe Primary School are without teachers in the classrooms. The Democratic Alliance has been informed that many other schools across the province are experiencing shortage of teachers.
School principals reported that the Department of Education has issued an instruction in December 2015 which prohibits them from filling teacher vacancies against promotional posts.
This critical shortage of teachers is also a result of the mass exodus of about 1500 teachers who resigned from schools in the North West last year.
Principals at schools are unable to fill vacant post immediately due to the cumbersome processes of appointing teachers in vacant posts.
This inefficient process of filling vacant teaching posts is also due to the financial affairs of the Education Department who are co-managed by the Provincial Treasury. As a result education officials and principals are unable to take financial decisions such as appointing teachers without the approval of the Provincial Treasury.
The weaknesses in the supply and utilization policy of teachers in the North West Province Department of Education has contributed to the decline in the 2015 Grade 12 results and this is aggravated by the department being placed under administration.
The Democratic Alliance calls upon the MEC for Education, Wendy Matsemela to immediately review the NW Department of Education’s supply and utilization policies of teachers to ensure that there is a teacher, tables and chairs in every class for all learners.
Education is one of the cornerstones of our society and through education people can empower themselves. It is furthermore a Constitutional right and should be a strategic priority that should be used to develop our country.