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Naptosa blames shortage of 24 000 teachers on education department’s inefficiency

Naptosa says it is not shocked to hear that the country is facing a shortage of 24 000 teachers. Picture: Puri Devjee

Naptosa says it is not shocked to hear that the country is facing a shortage of 24 000 teachers. Picture: Puri Devjee

Published Apr 12, 2021


THE National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) says the shortage of teachers, by 24 556, is a result of the education department’s inefficiency.

Naptosa executive director Basil Manuel said: “Its administrative inefficiency is at its worst. Our education departments and provincial departments are getting worse by the day. They are constantly giving these glowing reports of how well everything is going but, obviously, this is not so.”

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Manuel was responding to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s announcement that there were 24 000 vacancies spread across schools in all provinces.

Motshekga told Parliament that the national teacher vacancy rate, as of the end of February 2021, stood at 5.8%. She said the rate was for actual vacancies at schools in relation to posts that each school was allocated for 2021.

“Provincial education departments are currently redeploying educators that are additional to the allocated post establishments at some schools to schools that have vacancies,” she said.

After those teachers are redeployed the remainder of the posts will be filled by educators from outside the system.

Vacancies per province:

Eastern Cape - 3 718

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Western Cape - 1 117

Gauteng - 2 282

Northern Cape - 354

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Limpopo - 5 375

North West - 1 433

Mpumalanga - 2 161

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Free State - 842

KwaZulu-Natal - 7 274

“To have waited until the end of the first term and telling us about the redeployment of teachers, we knew teachers were in surplus in some of the provinces when they did the PPN (post-provisioning norm) and its normal that when we do the post-provisioning some school’s numbers would have dropped and some would have increased, etc,” Manuel said.

“Why was this not done before the end of the year? Why wasn’t this done in the first few weeks when principals were sitting at schools and educators were sitting at schools waiting for something to do? That’s when this needs to be done,” he said.

Manuel said unions had raised their concerns over the shortage of teachers but were shunned. He said even Motshekga allegedly made a public statement that all posts had been filled.

“We are at the end of the first term. If there are so many vacancies, who has been teaching these children? Our schools are already at 50% attendance only and if the child is coming to school and there is no teacher in front of them, imagine what they are getting from education. It's a tragedy,” said Manuel.

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