Eastern Cape schools need help - bishops
Johannesburg - Eastern Cape government authorities must take appropriate action to rescue the floundering provincial education system, the SA Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) said on Wednesday.
"Otherwise the government will be responsible for perpetuating the second-class bantustan education system and contributing to the wide divide between rich and poor," spokesperson Chris Townsend said in a statement.
"The lack of infrastructure and the rundown state of schools, as well as the go-slow by teachers, is putting the future of many of our children at risk."
He said the SACBC was deeply concerned about the education problem.
Last week, the province's education department filled 1 500 vacancies following wildcat strikes by teachers who complained about being overworked.
Teachers embarked on protests when they returned after the school holidays to find that temporary teachers had not been re-appointed to old posts, or had been sent to other schools.
Many permanent teachers felt their workload had been increased without the help of temporary teachers.
At the time, department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said it was "pushing hard" to ensure schools' staff needs were met.
Townsend said teachers must put the children first.
"Teachers must make teaching a vocation that is marked by conscientious work, professionalism, care, love, and a breadth of vision," he said.