The Eastern Cape Department of Education has come out with another arrogant and alarmingly uneducated decision, this time about substitute teachers. In an internal memorandum dated 18 March 2011 the teaching fraternity is informed that “not further applications for the appointment of substitute educators are to be submitted since such applications will not be approved whether funds are available or not”.

The non-appointment of substitutes will destroy education in your previously disadvantaged schools and will further demoralise our already over-burdened educators.

According to the department this decision has, nothing to do with cost saving measures, as it clearly stats that these substitute posts — that have been budgeted for — will not be filled irrespective of whether funds are available or not.

This insensitive and uncaring attitude is indicative of a department that is completely out of touch with its core responsibilities pertaining to the provision of quality education and teaching.

The Department of Education in the Eastern Cape is making a statement that they care less whether there is a teacher or not in front of every classroom in every school in the province.

The education of our learners, mostly those who have been deprived by the previous dispensation, is not a priority, when one considers this arrogant behaviour by the department.

Our schools in rural area, townships and within the coloured communities will be the hardest hit, because they do not have the money in their schools coffers to pay for these substitutes to render a service.

The Democratic Alliance will never condone these actions, which clearly does not have the interests of our learners at heart.

We appeal to the MEC to rescind this uneducated decision and to approve the appointment of substitutes without delay.

I dare you, honourable MEC, to stand up and be counted. Tell your department that this decision is contrary to providing learners with an education.


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