Some relief in sight for Eastern Cape pupils
Cape Town - Relief may be in sight for thousands of Eastern Cape pupils who have spent the first nine months of this year at schools with teacher shortages.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Wednesday she had instructed all nine provincial education authorities to fill all vacant posts by the end of the year.
"I have sent a memorandum to all provinces, instructing them to fill all vacant posts by 31 December. So we will be able to report on progress after this date," she told MPs, responding to a question in the National Assembly.
Motshekga confirmed that at the end of June there were 3202 vacancies "in the gazetted post establishment" of schools in the Eastern Cape. These included 59 unfilled school principal posts.
However, the minister did not give a definitive reply to a question, asked by Democratic Alliance MP Annette Lovemore, on whether she could guarantee that all 3202 vacant posts in the province would be filled by next year.
Motshekga said the province had run short of funds.
"We had to go back to National Treasury to request it to re-prioritise funds to fill in these posts."
She then said her deputy, Enver Surty, who was not in the House on Wednesday, was dealing with the problem.
"He's not here... he's assisting the province in filling the posts."
Earlier, she told MPs the Eastern Cape education department had compiled a list of 1 117 critical, vacant, unfilled posts at level one, which were earmarked for immediate filling.
"And these include maths, science and accounting."
Motshekga said it was up to provinces to fill vacant teaching posts.
"I can only give directives," she said.