This is what teachers had to say about new Basic Education Minister Siviwe Gwarube

Basic Education Minister Siviwe Gwarube. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ Independent Newspapers

Basic Education Minister Siviwe Gwarube. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 3, 2024


Durban — There was mixed reaction from South African teachers following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday night that the DA’s Siviwe Gwarube would replace Angie Motshekga as Basic Education Minister.

Gwarube’s deputy will be Reginah Mhaule while Motshekga is the new Defence and Military Veterans Minister, with her being Bantu Holomisa and Richard Mkhungo.

On Facebook, teachers voiced their opinions about Gwarube replacing Motshekga. Some welcomed the change while others were concerned about her political affiliation.

The teachers will not be named to protect their identity.

Teacher 1 said: “A change was needed, we needed this young vibrant person.”

Teacher 2 said: “Finally some young brains to lead this ministry (1989 born), at her age I’m very certain she knows the kind of education our children need for their future. I expect the best to come.”

Teacher 3 said: “Question: Is the Minister mandated to implement the education policy of the DA or the ANC?”

Teacher 4 said as long as Angie is out.

Teacher 5 said: “As long as she understands the teaching profession and knows the challenges teachers are facing, it is well with me.”

Teacher 6 said: “I wish she scraps the 30% to 50% pass mark.”

Teacher 7 said: “Let’s hope that things get better and educators are given the respect they deserve. Work towards getting all educators employed in posts. Too many qualified educators don’t have jobs. The other concern is that educators study any degree and can be appointed to a teaching post once they complete the PGCE.”

Teacher 8 said: “This is not all about political parties but the future of our children. Stop this nonsense.”

Teacher 9 said: “She deserves a fair chance, I don’t know her but I have hope.”

Teacher 10 said: “As long as she will not take directives from her bosses.”

Teacher 11 said: “We welcome her and are willing to work under her leadership. We are also happy that young people are taken into consideration in these ministerial positions. We can’t judge her for we know nothing bad about her. Sizombona ngendlela (we will see her as time goes on).”

Teacher 12 said Gwarube’s arrival would cause some discomfort to many. Paradigms have to shift.

Teacher 13 said they anticipate what she is bringing to the table.

Teacher 14 said: “I will welcome the appointment. I hope she will continue the good work Gogo Angie did. I hope she will also take her appointment seriously and work well with all the practitioners of Basic Education. I hope she doesn’t compromise all the labour peace or rights of the basic Education staff. However, I hope all the public servants will also deliver good service to our people.”

Teacher 15 said: “We will study her. Education is a very critical department…”

Meanwhile, on her X (formerly Twitter) page on Tuesday, Gwarube thanked everyone for their wishes after her appointment.

“Being appointed the Minister of Basic Education is a massive responsibility that I do not take lightly,” Gwarube said.

“The future of the country rests on how well this department that I lead does its work.”

Gwarube said she is currently still the minister-designate until sworn into office on Wednesday.

“I’m using this time to meet with the Deputy Minister @ReginahMhaule (Reginah Mhaule) and the DG to get a full grasp on the urgent matters on my desk. These two are critical to the work that must be done,” Gwarube said.

“I am itching to get stuck in, and will soon outline my key priorities for the @DBE_SA.”

“With the myriad of challenges the sector faces, I want to make sure we put learners at the centre of all that we do.”

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