KZN Education employment app frustrates unemployed graduates
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Durban - FRUSTRATED unemployed education graduates have reached out to teacher unions in a bid to get answers on “the fickle app” for unemployed qualified teachers launched by the provincial Department of Education.
Last week, the Daily News reported that the KZN Qualified Educators App had allegedly not been working for some time, however the department denied this saying the problems were resolved.
A group of unemployed education graduates met with the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) on Monday over frustration regarding the app.
Provincial secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said since schools opened in January they have been fighting and raising the issue of this app with the department. The app, launched in February last year, registers users as employers or applicants. Applicants register using their personal details, including their qualifications and academic record.
“The purpose of the app was to help employ teachers, but right now it's frustrating unemployed graduates. We’ve received numerous complaints that sometimes it freezes and sometimes it does not work. The app was for graduates to be able to save money spent travelling or mailing CVs, but it seems to be disadvantaging them right now,” said Caluza.
She said the unemployed graduates she met with wanted answers about the app.
“They don’t have a platform to be heard. I invited people from the department dealing with the app to the meeting where they presented to the group. They voiced their challenges and it was said that a migration of systems was the cause for the app to be down.”
Department of Education spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said the app was working and those having problems possibly had network issues or no airtime. He advised those experiencing problems to contact their call centre, adding that the app was a tool to alert graduates when a suitable teacher’s post was available.
“Registering on the app does not translate into employment, right now there are no posts.The app, when there’s a post for a maths teacher, for example, will only alert those with maths to apply,” said Mthethwa.
National Teachers Union's general secretary Cynthia Barnes said the KZN Unemployed Qualified Educators had reached out to the union, calling for the deactivation of an app and database as a process of hiring the teachers.
National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa spokesperson Therona Moodley described the app as a source of pain for unemployed graduates, adding it needed to be redesigned.
“It's completely dysfunctional. It's constantly going off line, graduates can’t access it to get their personal information on to it and this is causing a lot of anxiety among these young graduates who are qualified to teach.”
A second unemployed qualified teacher to contact this paper about the app said she last used the app on Monday afternoon and it was not working.
“I've been to district offices and they don't even accept CVs. They tell you to register on the app. People believe that there’s a shortage of teachers when we are here – I'm not the only one”.