Despite the ongoing post provisioning crisis in the province the Eastern Cape Department of Education seems to have made no effort to investigate alternative suggestions in order to address the problem.
One solution that the DA has put on the table is that teachers who are in the cohort of 50 to 60 years of age and who are not in critical posts should be offered early retirement without incurring penalties. This will begin to alleviate the decade-long dilemma in the province whereby we have twice as many surplus teachers than we have funded vacant posts.
As long as the current situation is allowed to continue our children will suffer the consequences of not getting an education.
According to the reply to a parliamentary question I asked the MEC for Education, Mandla Makupula, the department had not approached any teachers to apply for early retirement without penalty. However, there were 12 115 teachers between the age of 50 and 55 and a further 6 786 teachers in the 56 to 60 age bracket. To date only 182 teachers had applied for early retirement during the 2013 academic year.
The ongoing post-establishment deadlock between schools and the department is an indication that the 2014 academic year will be a continuation of the past decade’s failure by the department to address the issue of over- and understaffed schools.
The Eastern Cape Department of Education must place the right number of correctly qualified teachers in every school in the province.
Some 700 schools in the province will enter the 2014 academic year with critical shortages after the department announced that there will be 5 024 less posts than in 2013.
The Eastern Cape again fared the worst in last year’s matric results. Education is the ticket out of poverty. The current administration has been unable to come up with workable solutions to improve education in the province. It is time for change.
Edmund van Vuuren
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