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Cape Town - The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has slammed the number of teaching posts allocated to Western Cape schools for next year, saying the additional 40 staff would not help reduce class sizes.
Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said the increase would bring the total number of posts to 31 131.
The allocation was made after consultation with school governing body associations and teacher unions.
She said that given the “economic and financial realities” facing the provincial government, Grant was pleased to have been able to increase the number of teaching posts.
Last year the number of teaching posts for 2013 was increased by 154.
Casey said the Western Cape Education Department had started a process of allocating more teachers to primary schools, especially Grade 1 and the foundation phase (up to Grade 3) “to support our number one objective of improving literacy and numeracy performance of primary school children”.
Sadtu provincial secretary Jonavon Rustin said the 40 additional posts wouldn’t really make a difference.
“We can’t accept that the basket of posts will only grow by 40. That is really not much and it will not do anything to reduce class sizes in the province.”
The Western Cape has an average teacher-pupil ratio of about 1:35.
Casey said the department had been able to complete this year’s (post allocation) process well in advance of the Department of Basic Education’s required completion date of September 30.
She said that by completing the process so early schools would be able to plan and budget accordingly for the 2014 school year.
Casey said schools could appeal against their allocation. The online appeals process started on Monday and would be open until the end of September. The appeals would then be considered by the department.