Court bid to compel Angie to fill 64752 teacher vacancies

The basic education department is being dragged before court again, this time over the embattled Eastern Cape education department's failure to fully fill the 64 752 teaching posts it budgeted for in the province.

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) on Thursday last week filed an urgent application at the high court in Grahamstown in a bid to compel the four respondents in the case – including Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and acting Eastern Cape education department head Mthunywa Ngonzo – to fully implement the 2012 plan to fill the posts.

The other two respondents are the director-general in the department of basic education, Bobby Soobrayan, and the Eastern Cape's minister for education, Mandla Makupula.

The application deals with "the failure of the respondents to implement the 2012 educator post establishment in the Eastern Cape, the consequent failure to appoint teachers to vacant substantive posts and the failure to appoint temporary teachers to these posts pending the implementation of the 2012 post establishment".

The regional director of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in Grahamstown, Sarah Sephton, said there were "thousands of vacant teaching posts in the province and also thousands of teachers in excess at schools".


"Nobody in the department has bothered to ensure that all pupils have teachers in front of them," she said.

The lawsuit would hopefully ensure that "teachers will be appointed to posts permanently so there will be no chaos of temporary appointments every year and hopefully there will be adequate preparation for next year so teachers will be in front of pupils from the day schools open," she said.

In March last year Motshekga implemented the Constitution's section 100 1(b) and placed the province's education department under administration, in an attempt to address the chaos that has left schools without textbooks and stationery, and scuttled scholar transport programmes amid allegations of wider corruption in management, among other serious problems.

The LRC is representing six applicants including the Centre for Child Law, the school governing bodies of four Eastern Cape schools and a crisis committee based in Port Elizabeth – comprising of two principals, six parents, and two teachers – which represents 17 schools from the city's northern areas.

According to the founding affidavit by Ann Marie Skelton, director of the Centre for Child Law, "the Eastern Cape department's failure to implement the 2012 post establishment plan has led to many schools being placed in a situation of crisis and financial peril".

"The individual schools have taken steps to fill substantive vacant teacher posts at their own expense, or relying on emergency donations from parents, while some have had to rely on substitute teachers and volunteer teaching to teach certain grades," it said.

"Some of the individual schools are unable to pay additional teachers," it said. "And as such many pupils are wholly without a teacher and have not received tuition his year."

The application is asking that the the 2013 educator post establishment be declared by 30 September 2012 and implemented in full by 30 December 2012, and that this include non-teaching staff.

Sephton said the respondents would need to file their notice to oppose or not to oppose by the end of Friday, and that answering affidavits would need to be filed by the end of next Friday.

The department did not respond to requests for comment.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Teacher union to join Cosatu strike over ‘uncaring employer’

Sadtu has accused the state of being an “uncaring employer” for failing to pay salary increases due two years ago

Farmworkers’ children forgotten

They have been unable to return to their school in North West because the hostel is closed

White elephant schools reveal lack of progress

The schools rationalisation programme is two decades old, but is still plagued by inconsistencies

Folly of school assessment in a pandemic

The method used to determine whether children should move to the next grade considers what they recall rather than their potential to learn

Illegal land sales head to court

Two state departments have done nothing about the sale of people’s land in Umnini by an inkosi –and R2.5-million has still not been accounted for

Foster care grants at risk – again

Delays in amending legislation have left foster parents at the mercy of an overburdened system
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Finance probe into the Ingonyama Trust Board goes ahead

The threat of legal action from ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya fails to halt forensic audit ordered by the land reform minister

Ailing Far East Rand hospital purchases ‘vanity’ furniture

Dr Zacharia Mathaba, who purchased the furniture, is a suspected overtime fraudster and was appointed as Gauteng hospital chief executive despite facing serious disciplinary charges

Eusebius McKaiser: Reject the dichotomy of political horrors

Senekal shows us that we must make a stand against the loud voice of the populist EFF and racist rightwingers

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday