Wanted: 3?000 teachers in KZN

2012-06-02 00:00

A TOTAL of R2,4 billion will be spent on building 17 schools in rural and under-developed areas of KwaZulu-Natal, while the infrastructure of several others will be improved, Education MEC Senzo Mchunu said in announcing his budget yesterday.

Mchunu said the new schools will all feature specialist rooms and the department would also try to install sports facilities at the schools within the budget. However, R29,5 billion of the R34,7 billion budget (up by R6 billion from last year), will be spent on salaries for teachers, of whom there was a shortage in KwaZulu-Natal.

The head of the department, Nkosinathi Sishi, said there were over 3 000 unfilled vacancies in the province. “We have 89 000 teachers in the province. We lose 5 200 a year, and we receive only 1 000 from universities,” he said.

Mchunu said there was a commitment by schools of education attached to universities to increase their uptake in teacher training, especially for subjects such as maths and science.

The head of the Provincial Treasury, Simiso Magagula, said the departments of Education and Health had overspent the most out of five that had gone over their budgets last year.

“The Education Department overspent its budget by R591 million due to the carry-on effect of the shortfall in funding for the Occupation-Specific Dispensation for educators and the previous year’s wage agreements,” he said.

Magagula said the department and the Treasury were working on a plan to control spending.

Experts were sent to the Education Department to conduct an in-depth analysis. Only after that was completed would the Treasury decide if more money would be given to the department, said Magagula.

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

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