The Eastern Cape department of education said a “dedicated” task team has been established to facilitate the appointment, profiling and remuneration of all temporary educators in the province.
This came on Thursday after the department reached an agreement with human right organisation, Legal Resources Centre (LRC), over the appointment and remuneration of temporary teachers in the province.
The Centre for Child Law (CCL), represented by the LRC, filed an urgent application in the Grahamstown High Court.
The LRC also represented 17 schools in the province and Nelson Mandela Bay’s Bethelsdorp School Governing Body’s Unit.
The Centre for Child Law sought a court order directing the department to appoint schools’ chosen temporary educators on a permanent basis.
The application arises out of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s failure to implement a court order of August 3, 2012, which directed the department to appoint teachers to vacant posts and to pay teachers occupying those posts.
In the order, the department has agreed to fill a total of 140 teacher vacancies by the end of the month.
The parties also agreed that temporary teachers who are not replaced by May 31, 2013 may be appointed on a permanent basis, subject to legal requirements being met.
LRC regional director in Grahamstown Sarah Sephton told The New Age that she hoped the department acted on the agreement and put the matter of the shortage of teachers to rest.
“I hope the department will take this matter seriously and implement the agreement,” Sephton said.
Provincial education spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said: “The department remains committed to achieve its goal (of) providing basic education to every child in the Eastern Cape.
“We are confident that we will attain our targets now that a court order is in place to restrain South African Democratic Teachers Union from unlawful obstruction, and we look forward to the CCL’s constructive cooperation instead of obstructive litigation.”
Pulumani said all schools with shortages of teachers should continue to submit their needs to their district offices for “urgent intervention”.