Teachers’ posts frozen

2012-10-01 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has said that after considering its priorities and its financial state, it has concluded that “no new posts can be created for 2013”.

This announcement is contained in the circular, “Implementation of Educator Post Establishment: 2013”, signed by the head of the department, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi.

The circular adds: “In the light of the above, schools are hereby advised that their individual educator post establishments will remain unchanged for 2013.”

The circular mentions that the MEC for Education, Senzo Mchunu had consulted organised labour and school governing bodies.

“This is not to say we’re curbing creation of jobs, but we need to create jobs when it’s necessary,” said the department’s spokesperson, Muzi Mahlambi.

He said the department’s audit showed that the department could cope with the personnel it had for the 2013 academic year.

Mahlambi warned schools not to enrol more pupils than they could handle.

October 31 is the deadline for all pupils to be registered at public schools.

Schools must admit pupils according to the number of teachers and classroom they had, Mahlambi added.

“Schools over-enrol and it becomes a crisis.

“If a school is full they must pass on pupils to other schools.”

He criticised schools that failed to close their admissions, which he called “negligence”.

The department admitted that there might be a shortage of teachers at some schools.

However, Mahlambi said the department would redeploy teachers from schools where there was an oversupply due to a decline in enrolment to “balance the equation”.

The department said that rather than spending more money on human resources, finances would be channelled to infrastructure, one of the department’s priority areas.

“We’ll look at infrastructure where there’s a dire need, such as classroom equipment and laboratories,” Mahlambi added.

Allen Thompson, of the National Teachers’ Union (Natu), said the decision was a “formula for disaster”.

“Ever since I started teaching I’ve never heard such a statement,” Thompson said.

He said the creation of posts was not determined by the budget, but by the needs of pupils.

“There’s a policy that says that as long as there’s floor space, infrastructure, you can’t stop schools from enrolling pupils,” Thompson added.

Natu said there were still schools without maths and science teachers, which raised concerns.

“What will happen if a teacher passes on or goes on maternity leave?” Thompson asked.

The KwaZulu-Natal executive officer for governing body foundations, Gabian Kedian, said it was “sad” that there were still classes with no teachers while schools were under pressure to take more pupils.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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