The Department of Basic Education says there is no funding available to bring in substitute teachers. This comes in the wake of 27 000 teachers having applied for concessions due to comorbidities.
Of these, 22 000 have already been granted and the rest are being processed.
Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshegka, in a recent interview said: “We don’t have new money. So we have to be extremely cautious about how we employ, because we are then taking all the reserves we have.
“We have made a bid to the treasury to say as things look, we are unlikely to cope within the budget. That’s why we appreciate donations, so that we don’t use our money for other things. We use our money for learning and teaching.”
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According to Chris Klopper, chief executive from the South African Teachers’ Union, it would cost an estimated R500 million a month to compensate for the 22 000 missing from schools.
Ben Machipi, general secretary of the Professional Educators’ Union, stated the situation had really caused problems. He said teachers were overburdened and he was worried about burnout.
“Even now that more grades are back, schools still have a reduced staff complement,” he says.
Basil Manual, executive director of the National Professional Teachers’ Union of South Africa, says union teachers and staff presently at school have estimated that their departments are working at a third of capacity. This is on both a provincial and district level.
So far, departments have contributed the following figures:
Gauteng department of education’s spokesperson said that from the 3 881 educators on concession, 536 had been replaced.
Eastern Cape’s department of education’s spokesperson said concession was granted to about 5 000 teachers and only half have been replaced.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 5 979 teachers were on concession. Of these, 4 475 have been called on. According to Dr Imraan Keeeke, the DA KZN education spokesperson, the Umlazi and Pinetown districts are the hardest hit as teacher shortages number 1 242 and 1 197 respectively.