Second chance for 33,539 teachers who would be out of work because of Covid-19

24 July 2021 - 14:19 By alex patrick
A worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant in a classroom at Groenvlei High School in Lansdowne, Cape Town.
A worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant in a classroom at Groenvlei High School in Lansdowne, Cape Town.
Image: Esa Alexander

The basic education department has spent R2.4bn to save teachers' jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This was revealed by basic education minister Angie Motshekga at a briefing on Saturday about schools' readiness to reopen once they get the go-ahead from President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Motshekga said the department had saved 33,539 posts so far by allocating money to provincial education departments for teachers employed and paid by governing bodies.

She said schools were under enormous pressure because many parents were unable to pay fees as a result of Covid-19 and lockdown-related economic pressure. 

1,678 teachers had died of Covid-19 between March 2020 and February 2021, she said. 

“This includes a number of senior staff members within provinces. It's had a devastating effect on us.”

Through the education employment initiative, aimed at alleviating joblessness as part of Ramaphosa's stimulus programme, 320,000 unemployed young people had been employed as education and general education assistants, Motshekga said. 

These teacher aides were helping to close gaps in the education system left by the pandemic.

“Covid-19 has forced schools to use a different timetable — they helped close gaps [in the timetable] and continue the work [involving] coding and robotics etc. in schools.”

Money for these initiatives has been provided for by the minister of finance, who allocated R7bn to implement the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative.

TimesLIVE


subscribe