by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 04 February 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is calling on MEC of Education, Martha Bartlett, to do more to ensure that schools in the province are sufficiently capacitated with adequate numbers of teachers for respective subject choices.
This comes after learners at Nababeep High School only officially started their school year on Thursday last week. Schooling was disrupted due to critical teacher shortages at the school which especially affected matriculants. This in turn culminated in a two-week long protest by parents and learners, to expose the unconducive learning environment at the school.
While the eventual appointment of two additional teachers last week, finally brought an end to the protest, the new challenge of ensuring that learners catch-up on their missed English and Technology classes, must begin now.
A similar situation faces learners at SA Van Wyk School, which only received a Mathematics teacher on Friday last week. This school still needs an additional two teachers in order to ensure that all subjects are being taught.
It is unfair that the learners at both these schools have started the school year off on the back foot. Worse still, is that it has taken almost the first half of the first term to resolve the teacher shortages at the respective schools, placing additional pressure on learners and educators, who will have to work tirelessly to be ready for exams at the end of this year. It is then little wonder that, under conditions such as these, the Northern Cape’s matric pass rate continues to drop.
The DA is appealing to MEC Bartlett to ensure that her department prioritises teacher appointments above departmental appointments, in the already top-heavy departmental structure.
Unfortunately, the failing ANC government continues to demonstrate a lack of vision and a lack of solutions when it comes to the numerous challenges facing education, especially schooling in our more rural areas.
In contrast, a DA-government will strive to maintain reasonable class sizes and optimal teacher: learner ratios. Where there is a specific lack of skill, a DA government will also make use of roving teachers who will not be employed at a specific school but will instead serve a number of schools within a district, teaching a single subject in which they have particular expertise. This will reduce pressure on teachers in smaller schools who are compelled to teach a number of different subjects, for which they do not have sufficient subject knowledge.
Only change under a DA-led government will see to it that learners everywhere receive a quality education that stands them in good stead to improve the quality of their lives.
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
082 383 6914
Shelley de Witt
082 847 1387