Vacant teacher posts double

2012-08-21 18:55

Cape Town - The number of vacant teacher posts around the country more than doubled in the first quarter of this year, MPs heard on Tuesday.

Figures tabled by senior department officials during a briefing to members of Parliament's basic education portfolio committee show the worst-affected region was Mpumalanga, where the number of vacancies rose from 3.32% to 14.48%.

The actual number of teacher vacancies in this province rose from 857 on 12 January this year, to 3 738 on 12 March.

Across all nine provinces, the total number of vacant posts rose from 10 846 on 12 January to 22 051 three months later (from 3.72% to 7.56%).

The highest vacancy rate was in the Eastern Cape (5 107 vacancies on 12 March); the lowest was in the Northern Cape, where vacancies dropped slightly over the quarter, from 654 to 628.

In Limpopo, the province that experienced a major textbook crisis, the total vacancies shot up form 190 in mid-January to 3 197 in mid-March (from 0.44% to 7.40%).

According to basic education deputy director Devi Pillay, the percentages are calculated against what the department calls a post provisioning norm (PPN), which is "the number of teaching posts declared [in a particular province] by the [education] MEC".

Earlier, Pillay briefed the committee on "teacher demand and supply" at public schools in South Africa.

"[A total of] 70.5% of schools had no vacancies in January 2012, [a figure] which decreased to 38% in March this year."


She said it was "not apparent" why the vacancy rate had suddenly increased, but warned there were problems with the department's Persal (personnel and salary) system, from where the figures were derived.

Persal was "not correctly linked" to the department's basic accounting system.

"The quality and accuracy of our Persal data is questionable," Pillay said.

She said solving this problem would be a "mammoth task", given the volume of historically inaccurate data contained in the 15-year-old system. The number of temporary teacher appointments had also risen.

According to the document: "Use of temporary appointments increased between January and March [this year] from eight to 12%."

Acting deputy director general Themba Kojana told the committee the teacher "attrition rate" was 3.2% a year, involving 12 500 teachers.

Responding to a question, he said 43% of the teachers leaving the department were in the 30 to 39 year age group.

The department was not immediately able to say how many teachers were currently employed at public schools in each province.

The total of the posts declared (PPNs) in each of the nine provinces, as shown in the document tabled at the briefing, was 291 669.

  • jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-08-21 19:09

    Set up a recruitment agency in the UK, double teachers salaries and pay their passage back home. Many South African teachers have been barred from teaching in state schools in the Uk, they might well feel that returning home is a good option.

      tw2066 - 2012-08-21 20:23

      Surprise surprise, many South African teachers have the same problem here in South Africa - The ANC call it Transformation, I call it racism, but either way...

      mattewis.kat - 2012-08-21 21:44

      @tw2066 True! Teaching is something each culture/nation/demographic-group must do for its own children! No ANC cleptocrat communist will stand before my children! Thirty/Forty years ago they burnt down schools, threw rocks, and killed whoever stood in their way to defend this very right! Now they expect us to send our teachers into their violence-ridden township schools! Here's the deal ANC: we'll teach our children if you teach yours! Leave our schools alone, and we'll leave yours alone. Take the tax revenue from the white taxpayer and feed it into their schools, and do the same for the black schools!

      tw2066 - 2012-08-22 05:36

      Well my kids are home schooling. The are in fact another 86 in the area. The bullying, poor standard of teaching, racial intollerance against whites has hit us all. So, the group gets together for socoal and sporting interaction once a week, and the parents can call on each other for assistance. I had made a comment on the racist nature of the country using FACT, but the moderator has again seen fit to delete this.

  • peter.ledger.902 - 2012-08-21 19:17

    Viva ANC, Viva!

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-08-21 19:58

    Just another stuff up from the ANC. Even if they were competent i would assume that an educated electorate would drop them very quickly, so, Hmmm.

  • ethanhawk385 - 2012-08-21 20:15

    I have a friend who taught at the Hill High school and the black teachers forced Her out because she was white. One by one all the white teachers are being forced out of the Hill High school in southern Jhb.

  • lynda.pitcher.1 - 2012-08-21 20:21

    I suggest the Department of Education look into the way in which they treat the teachers who are in their employ.....its not just about low salaries, its about late payments, inefficiency in processing appointments, ridiculous red tape and administrative blunders that drive teachers to the private sector or out of the profession all together

  • ngobenis - 2012-08-21 20:25

    Pay them well, they will stay

  • fanie.brink.5 - 2012-08-21 21:16

    They don't appoint more teachers because then they have more money to pocket!! Remember this is the only thing on the minds of black officials in the public service - how they can lay their hands on more money to pocket!!! Same reason why services are not delivered!!

  • george.hatzikyriacos - 2012-08-21 22:07

    So we have a shortage of teachers? There are only 3000 bursaries available for new Education students next year. No prizes for guessing who will receive first call!

  • jan.vanriebeeck.73 - 2012-08-21 22:20

    And that is why we have more and more teachers knocking on the doors of private schools. My kids private school have a few teachers waiting for posts to open up so that they can work without interference from the state, rampant crime don't stare them in the face at school and they can teach a proper curriculum. The more people that move their children out of government schools and rather pay their money for proper schooling the harder its going to be for the government to pay for their failing schooling system.

  • clayton.dennis.71 - 2012-08-22 04:13

    My wife is a teacher who continually seeks the highly sort after government posts! Please someone tell me where all these 22051 vacant posts are? Oh then again... lest I forget... She is white!

      Alewis Makoni - 2013-08-24 08:26

      My wife is an English teacher , up to grade 12. Prepared to teacher in any province. Please help.

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