The angry demonstration that took place outside the Port Elizabeth District Education Offices today (subs: Wed, 2 Feb) by parents of learners from the Northern Areas is the tip of the iceberg with regard to the mounting anger at the state of education in the Port Elizabeth District and the Eastern Cape in general.
I, together with Democratic Alliance legislature leader Bobby Stevenson, met with demonstrators to hear their account first hand.
The issue is largely around the termination of contracts for 4 232 temporary teachers, which has left a massive void in our already overcrowded schools.
The DA believes that unless this issue is properly addressed, widespread protests are going to break out throughout the province. Over the last two weeks I have travelled extensively throughout the province visiting schools and this issue has been number one on the agenda at every school that I have visited.
On Monday I contacted the Superintendent-General, Modidima Mannya, to make him aware of the anger in the Port Elizabeth district with regard to the state of education. It appears to me that he is largely unaware of this anger in Port Elizabeth as he has not been properly informed.
I have, today, tried to contact him again to discuss an interim solution to the problem of temporary educators.
The DA believes that temporary educators should immediately be re-instated unconditionally until the department can sort out the 5 000 double-parked permanent educators (these are educators that are employed but are not at the correct schools).
Secondly the DA believes that the department must issue a bulletin for post level 1 educators (a bulletin advertises the permanent vacant posts available). This will then allow the official process dealing with the double parked educators to statutorily commence.
The DA will continue to fight for a decent education system in the Eastern Cape.