Retired teachers belonging to the Siyaphambili Retired Teachers’ Association (SRTA) in KwaZulu-Natal said they were willing to return to the classroom to cover for teachers who were off.
The media spokesperson for the association, Charlton Sibaca, said the volunteers wanted to continue teaching for as long as possible, which was why they wanted to step in to help.
“We want the level of education in our schools to keep growing, so if a teacher is away for three weeks we will gladly come and assist,” Sibaca said.
He said he remembered that during his tenure as a principal, teachers sometimes went on sick leave for as long as three weeks and the department often could not find a replacement.
“With our assistance, there would be no need to look for a substitute teacher because we would be available.”
Therona Moodley, KZN spokesperson for the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation (Naptosa), said the offer would be gladly accepted by the organisation.
“The teachers would share their experience and be of great help in schools that have a shortage of teachers,” Moodley said.
The chairperson of the KZN Parents’ Association, Vee Gani, said the retired teachers would be helping tremendously with schools that had challenges finding substitute teachers.
“Finding substitute teachers for short periods like two or three weeks is very challenging, so these teachers would help relieve that stress and ensure pupils do not miss out on anything,” Gani said.
“These teachers are offering their time and resources free of charge and that is very admirable.”
Department of Education spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said the department would gladly open its doors to facilitate the process of allowing retired teachers to help where they were needed.
“Proper engagements would have to be had, but the department’s doors would be open to the idea,” Mthethwa said.