The Democratic Alliance has learnt with trepidation that the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape has decided to terminate the services of all temporary Grade 12 educators on 31 October 2010.

This decision is surprising because it has always been the practice that temporary teachers are appointed and paid on a term-to-term basis: from the first day of the month of the new term to the last day of the month of that term.

This inhumane and authoritarian decision to terminate contracts before the end of the term goes against best practices for quality teaching and learning. This is a managerial decision of the worst kind, taken without due consideration for the financial and personal circumstances of the educators involved.

The Democratic Alliance is fully aware of the current financial crisis in which the Department of Education finds itself. We are also not oblivious of the fact that cost saving measures must be implemented in order to generate potential savings that will minimise the projected over expenditure of R1, 9 billion. The earlier termination of services of temporary educators is definitely not an option for implementation, as this decision will have far-reaching implications for the department.

In a memorandum issued by the acting Head of the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape, Mr. Ronald Swartz, dated 9 September 2010, it is stated that in the light of the current financial constraints in the department, and also in consideration of the curriculum needs in the schools, the department has approved the extension of the services of the current temporary educators as follows:

• The services of the current temporary educators must be extended until 30 November 2010.

• The services of temporary educators teaching grade 12 only must be extended until 31 October 2010.

The Democratic Alliance wants to know what and how do you tell an educator who has have worked tirelessly throughout the year that he/she will not be receiving a salary for November and December 2010.

This is significantly obvious to all and sundry that discrimination is being openly practiced in determining the extension dates of temporary educators teaching different grades.

The Democratic Alliance firmly believes that these inhumane and bad managerial decisions must be recalled unreservedly as it has the potential to elicit an educator revolt, which can ultimately result in further digression of our dysfunctional schools. Other ways must be found to bring about savings and the premature termination of educators’ services should definitely not be one of the cost saving measures.

For further information, please contact Edmund van Vuuren on 072 184 7840

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