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Eastern Cape Denies Teacher Shortage Claims

Looming Teacher Shortage

Vuyiseka Mboxela, the Eastern Cape provincial education spokesperson says the number of teacher vacancies reported by the Democratic Alliance (DA) is inflated.

It was reported by the DA that there are 2 348 schools in the Eastern Cape that have vacant teaching posts. The total number of vacant teacher posts in the province sits at 3 721.

Mboxela says this is impossible. She said, “the total number of schools in the Eastern Cape is 5,343. It is impossible for anyone to make a claim that close to 2,000 schools don't have enough teachers”.

Mboxela says that the actual number should be 1 448 vacant posts that need to be filled. She says that not all of these vacancies are teachers. She explained, “the number that is 1 448 vacant posts in the sector varies with schools, district officials and also positions available in the administration of the department”. The number of teachers needed to fill posts in the province currently stands at 605.

She says there are teachers currently serving in temporary and acting positions and it is untrue that some schools in the Eastern Cape don’t have teachers. She also said that currently, 903 principal and deputy principal posts are being advertised in the province. 

Executive Director of the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) Basil Manual says that there is no shortage of teachers in the country. He argues that provincial departs are often slow at filling vacant posts. Manual says the issues regarding filling vacant posts can be seen in all provinces.

He concedes that budget cuts in the education sector have led to 6 000 posts being vacant but said that NAPTOSA is currently dealing with the situation.

Manual says currently the institutions responsible for training teachers are sufficient. He notes that research suggests a teacher shortage will occur in the coming years. In order to prevent this, the institutions need to increase the output of trained teachers.

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