Eastern Cape tackles teacher shortages

Friday, March 3, 2017

Bisho – Eastern Cape Education MEC Mandla Makupula says the department is working tirelessly to address teacher shortages in the province.

Speaking on Thursday when the department briefed the Portfolio Committee on Education at the Bisho Legislature, Makupula – who was presenting the department’s six-month financial report – gave a progress report on the shortages of educators in schools and the delay in finding replacements.

He said since the report was compiled last year, his office had taken note of this issue and they were working tirelessly to ensure that replacements are being made.

“We have since identified all the schools in the province that need educators and we are in the process of putting out posts so that those positions can be filled. The teachers mostly leave the schools by resigning for personal reasons and due to old age and that is beyond our control,” he said.

Themba Kojana, Head of Education Department in the province, said there have been delays in appointing educators in schools because of the high rate at which teachers are leaving schools, making it difficult for the department to find suitable replacements.

“All educator posts have been advertised and in some areas, the interviewing process has begun. We are trying to fast-track the process so that scholars can receive quality education from qualified teachers,” said Kojana.

Meanwhile, the department has invested R4 million to install laptops, projectors and internet connectivity in schools to assist teachers in class. The project, which targeted 560 schools, was done in partnership with Vodacom.

“Some schools could not benefit from this programme due to them not cooperating with the department by submitting the necessary documents in the timeframes which were set,” said Programme Manager Zama Mnqanqeni.

The MEC commended committee members for the hard work they have put in to ensure quality education in the province and acknowledged the setbacks they have encountered over the years in office.

“I am proud to be part of a team that when there are problems, instead of acting cowardly, face the problems head on and come up with strategies to resolve the issues.

“We have so much planned in ensuring development and progress in schools for the 2016/17 financial year,” the MEC said. – SAnews.gov.za-TLM

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