Dept plans to rope in 10 000 student teachers, graduates.
THE BASIC Education Department is hoping to rope in more than 10 000 student teachers and graduates to substitute teachers who are unable to report for duty during the Covid-19 pandemic because they are affected by comorbidities.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga revealed this in a response to parliamentary questions from DA MP Nomsa Marchesi, who asked about Funza Lushaka bursary students who were available to assist with substituting teachers affected by Covid-19.
Motshekga said there were 4 776 bachelor of education and postgraduate certificates in teaching and Funza Lushaka bursary students in their final year of study who may be available to assist.
“A further 5 664 Funza Lushaka unplaced graduates are also available to assist with substituting and/or assisting educators affected by Covid-19,” she said.
Motshekga’s response showed that Gauteng led with 1 276 students in their final year of study who were unplaced, while the Northern Cape has the lowest number at 92.
Asked about the number of teachers already hired to substitute those with comorbidities, Motshekga said since only a few grades have returned to schools, there was currently no need to replace educators that have become ill due to Covid-19.
She, however, said a total of 811 teachers were appointed in schools to replace educators due to comorbidities as at July 17.
“It should be noted, however, that there is currently a limited need to provide substitute educators. Only in specific cases where there is no other educator qualified in the specialisation or in case of class teaching is the substitute provided,” she said.
Motshekga said all teachers were employed on a fixed-term contract that was renewable based on the continued need.
“The details on the employment periods of the appointed teachers are not available and will be requested from provinces and submitted when they are obtained.”