The Democratic Alliance will make an eleventh hour appeal today (SUBS: Tues, 25 Sept) to Education MEC Mandla Makupula to negotiate a bailout package that would save 11 000 teaching jobs.

The Eastern Cape legislature is due to debate education committee reports in the Eastern Cape legislature this afternoon.

The DA wants the Education Department to make an urgent appeal to National Treasury for a bailout to cover the R3.4bn shortfall to pay teachers.

The Department only has until Friday to save these jobs before the number of teacher posts for 2013 needs to be declared to comply with a High Court order.

The cutting back on teaching posts is likely to leave over 300 000 Eastern Cape learners without teachers for core subjects in 2013, according to our calculations using the average class size of 28. We cannot allow the education and future job prospects of so many children to go to waste.

The DA’s bailout proposal will allow the Department to keep teachers in their jobs and start 2013 on a clean financial slate. We are proposing strict conditions for the bailout, including the urgent transfer of excess teachers in the system to schools with shortages and a strict financial turnaround plan.

We are concerned that the Department is down-playing the job losses by saying it is merely one of the options on the table. If this bailout doesn’t come, it will be the only option.

Today we will urge the MEC to commit to bailout negotiations with Treasury to avoid chao