Teaching Assistants Initiative Will End In September


One of the main goals of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative is to provide youth people with employment opportunities. Youth employed around the country are now being praised for their contribution to schools. 



The fourth phase of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) got underway last month and schools are reaping the benefits of having assistance. The initiative saw more than 200 000 provided with employment opportunities at schools in their communist. 

Youth employed as part of the PYEI (in the basic education sector) work as Education Assistants (EA) and General School Assistants (GSA). They aim to support teachers with administrative tasks, encourage the reading culture in schools, work on infrastructure maintenance and assist with various extramural activities. 

Sipho Thebani, a secondary school principal in the Eastern Cape says there has been a significant difference at their schools since EAs and GSAs began work. However, they believe there are areas where the initiative can be improved which will result in greater benefits for the school. 

Thebani says the PYEI must be implemented for the entire academic year. In the Eastern Cape, the programme commenced on 1 March 2023 and is set to conclude in September. They add that the initiative could also be more effective if each educator was allocated an assistant. 

“If we can have that and I'm sure that in terms of the quality of work improve as well as in the administration part, also to help those that have been assisting the administration part of the school.”

While EAs and GSAs aim to assist where they are needed, they are not educators and do not teach learners. 

Education assistants are not teaching they are there to assist the teacher. The teacher is doing the teaching job.

Chuma Mbhechu, a curriculum assistant at Fikizolo Primary School says the PYEI provided them with an opportunity to help children, something she is passionate about. They also learnt a lot during the initiative. 

Youth employed as part of the PYEI can also enrol in free training programmes. These programmes allow youth to gain competencies in several learning areas related to the fourth industrial revolution, digitisation and even entrepreneurship.  

Mbhechu says they have aspirations of starting their own business. The workshop on entrepreneurship covered how to write a business plan which will be beneficial for Mbehechu on their entrepreneurial journey.

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