Scramble to appoint teachers

2010-12-19 11:04

Mpumalanga’s education department failed to fill any of its 4?212 teacher vacancies this year and is now scrambling to appoint teachers before schools reopen in 2011.

School governing bodies throughout the ­province are yet to be requested to appoint teachers before January 12.

Although 4212 posts were vacant at the beginning of the year, Mpumalanga only advertised them in November.

The closing date for applications was December 9.

The process to fill the posts will include redeploying 1 500 permanent teachers deemed excessive at their current schools to other schools.

Contract or temporary teachers will also be placed in permanent posts as part of the same process.

The department’s spokesperson, Jasper Zwane, described the process of appointing teachers as “a simple process without hurdles” and said “we have done it before”.

But he conceded governing bodies were still to receive schedules to shortlist and recommend teachers.

Zwane said the department was confident the process would be completed on time.

“The expectations are that governing bodies of the affected schools would make it their obligation to accelerate the process so that by January the majority of educators are placed accordingly.

“There is no law in this country that prevents the operation of school governing bodies when schools are closed. Our view is that when schools are closed, an enabling environment is created to focus on issues,” Zwane said.

Chris Klopper, spokesperson of the Suid­Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie, said the redeployments could probably be made in time, but he ­seriously doubted whether almost 3 000 teachers could be appointed before January 12, when school reopens.

“School governing bodies have to give ­permission for the redeployment of teachers, and governing bodies are not available at the moment because of December school holidays.

“The department also has to give a teacher ­notice of a month or two before redeployment because some will have to relocate homes,” ­Klopper said.

He said ex-Model C schools only accounted for 5% of all schools in Mpumalanga and therefore mostly rural schools would be affected.

Granville Whittle, spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, said the identified vacancies did not mean those classes were left without teachers.

“Vacant posts are filled with temporary teachers until the posts are suitably filled. All that we expect is that they are filled by appropriately skilled individuals to teach in the areas they applied for.”


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