KZN has a drastic shortage of teachers

2013-05-28 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL has a drastic shortage of teachers due to international recruitment, retirement and the impact of the HIV and Aids pandemic.

This is according to the KZN Department of Education’s annual adjusted Human Resource Plan (HR) published on their website yesterday.

“Tertiary institutions jointly produce less than 2 500 teachers per annumand this is far short of what is required,” the report stated.

Of the 106 724 staffers in the department, 90 246 are teachers.

Due to the skyrocketing pupil enrolment numbers, the HR plan found that about 15 000 additional employees will be needed, of which the large majority are teachers.

“This challenge must be taken very seriously as it has far-reaching implications for education in this province,” the report stated.

The report added that teachers with skills in gateway subjects such as maths and science usually leave the department to find employment elsewhere and even migrate from disadvantaged schools. Close to 11% of teachers are unqualified and they are mainly found in the rural areas.

The department is battling to recruit qualified teachers in rural areas, which compromises the provision of teaching and learning.

This forces the department to employ temporary and contract teachers, which costs them a lot of money because newly qualified teachers also prefer working in affluent areas “rather than taking up a permanent post in the rural areas”.

Approximately 30% of the teachers will turn 50 by March 31 next year, which will make them eligible for retirement.

“There will be a serious implication with regard to the retention of skilled and experienced educators.”

The department is losing skills due to teachers resigning, which is among the highest number of terminations, followed by retirements and deaths.

During the 2011/2012 financial year, 2 016 teachers resigned, 699 retired, 435 died and 82 were axed for misconduct.

HIV and Aids also causes employees to apply for leave for extended periods of time.

According to the HR oversight report, 37 135 employees were granted 269 806 days of sick leave between January and December 2011.

The estimated cost to the department was R173 409 000.

Meanwhile, according to the skills audit, 98% of managers in the department lack financial management skills.

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