Johannesburg - Limpopo plans to bring retired maths, science and technology teachers back to public schools in a bid to improve performance in these subjects.

Education MEC Thembi Nwendamutswu said on Thursday that the province still needed their expertise and wealth of knowledge.

She said they would be redeployed in areas that were experiencing teacher shortages.

“The department intends to compile a comprehensive database of these retirees (that) will be used in engaging them.”

Nwendamutswu also pledged to revive the moribund maths, science and technology college (Mastec) that was established in Seshego outside Polokwane more than 10 years ago to train teachers in these subjects.

She admitted that Mastec was not fully functional.

“This financial year, 1 540 teachers will undergo residential continuous professional development in mathematics, science, technology and commercial subjects at Mastec and its satellite centres,” said Nwendamutswu.

The MEC delivered her department’s R24.965 billion budget vote – the biggest of the departments in the province.

The lion’s share of the budget – R20.406bn – will go towards paying salaries.

A total of R2.177bn will go towards goods and services.

Nwendamutswu said R518 million was budgeted to buy learning and teaching support material such as textbooks for next year.

About R1bn of conditional grants had been set aside to feed 1.6 million pupils in no-fee schools.

Independent schools, those that have not registered as profit-making entities, were given R112m.

Public special schools would get R379.6m. Another R1.2m would go towards buying Braille embossers for blind pupils.

Adult education and training would receive R154.7m.

Nwendamutswu allocated R9.5m to her ministerial office.

The Star