More than 300 000 young people employed as teacher assistants – Motshekga
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Cape Town - In an effort to draw young people into the economy, the Department of Basic Education has, through the Education Employment Initiative (BEEI), employed 320 000 unemployed youth as education and general education assistants, says Minister Angie Motshekga.
Speaking at the department’s Dialogue on Teacher Appreciation and Youth Employment Initiative, ahead of Youth Day celebrations on Wednesday, Motshekga said the aim of the BEEI was to alleviate joblessness as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme from December 2020 to April 2021.
She said the young people were placed in public schools across the country to assist teachers in the classroom as they fought against the new challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The initiative used the direct public investment to create employment opportunities and provide support to workers negatively impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The BEEI was funded to the tune of R7 billion, of which the most considerable portion was transferred to provinces as part of an equitable share.
“A large slice of this, just over R4 billion, was deployed to create job opportunities for unemployed youth in the basic education sector,” said Motshekga.
She noted that the implementation of the first phase of this new initiative came with its challenges. However, there were talks about a second phase.
“The success of Phase 1 of the Education Employment Initiative has ignited talks of Phase 2. Talks are at an advanced stage with the Treasury in this regard.
“As part of the mooted phase two, let's dialogue on the lesson learnt in implementing the Education Employment Initiative phase 1.
“Let's learn from the serious challenge of late payments of the stipends in some provinces during phase 1 of this vital initiative and devise ways to avoid the repeat.
“We are free to reimagine the Education Employment Initiative and see how it can assist teachers well into the future,” said Motshekga.