ECape defends call for teachers

2012-11-09 06:39

The Eastern Cape education department has defended its decision to advertise 3 650 teaching posts in the province, following Democratic Alliance (DA) criticism.

The DA had complained that the department advertised the posts, although it in fact planned to slash the number of teaching posts available for 2013 by almost 4 000.

“The statement by the Democratic Alliance is both unfortunate and deliberately misleading,” said spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani.

“In equal measures it seems to suggest that the department should ignore an existing order of the court, and that MEC [Mandla Makhupula] has erred in discharging a statutory requirement.”

The department had reached an out of court settlement with the Legal Resource Centre, a lobby group, in which it had committed to fill all vacant posts for 2012.

This had been made an order of the court.

“The bulletin that we have released is in compliance to that order,” he said.

DA spokesperson Edmund van Vuuren noted that while 64 752 teaching posts were declared for 2012, only 60 820 posts had been declared by the MEC for 2013.

Pulumani agreed it was Makhupula’s responsibility to determine the total number of all posts for all public schools for the year ahead.

This had to be done after considering available budget, curriculum needs and the number of pupils.

“So, whilst these two processes may have an indirect bearing on each other, they are not mutually exclusive, and do not necessarily affect the same schools or teachers,” he said.

It was “preposterous” for the DA to criticise the department for complying with the law, and at the same time to insist the department ignore its financial reality.

“As the department we have indicated that we will explore any and all additional legal avenues to ensure that all our learners have teachers in front of them come 2013.”

Van Vuuren said the department had falsely advertised the availability of the posts.

Makhupula had already conceded the department would not fill the posts, advertised in a departmental bulletin on September 30, he said.

It was criminal and unethical to publish false information, and the advert should be immediately withdrawn.

The DA would lead a march of concerned citizens to the department’s headquarters in Bhisho today.

“We will deliver a memorandum of demands aimed at saving our teachers,” he said.

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