Move against unqualified teachers welcomed by DA

2013-06-05 00:00

THE DA has welcomed the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education’s move to officially end the practice of schools employing under-qualified and unqualified teachers to fill vacant posts.

This is according to a circular called “appointment of unqualified educators” signed by the head of department Dr Nkosinathi Sishi on May 26.

The circular said this was in keeping with the commitment to the provision of quality education to all pupils, which meant the department could no longer employ under-qualified teachers with only a matric qualification.

The Persal system has been upgraded so that those teachers with only a matric qualification can no longer be processed –– meaning their salaries cannot be drawn.

The circular also said any official who employs an unqualified teacher will face disciplinary action and the department will not be held liable for paying their salaries.

The Witness reported last week that the department was facing an acute shortage of teachers, according to its annual adjusted Human Resource Plan.

Of the 106 724 staffers in the department, 90 246 are teachers and close to 10 000 of those teachers are not qualified and are mainly based in rural areas. The HR plan found that about 15 000 additional employees will be needed, of which the large majority are teachers.

DA MPL Tom Stokes said the move finally spells some good news for the many pupils in KZN who have had to suffer being taught by grossly under- or unqualified individuals.

“The practice of employing inadequate teachers has been open to wide-scale abuse in the past, with schools, rather than waiting for a department appointment, giving friends or relatives the job despite their lack of a teaching qualification,” Stokes said in a statement.

He said the crackdown on employing inadequate teachers is a move in the right direction and is one step closer to resolving the teacher competency crisis in the province.

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