The Eastern Cape Education Department has falsely advertised the availability of 3 650 teaching posts. The Department actually intends to cut 3 932 teachers from the system in 2013.

The false information was published in a Departmental bulletin issued on 30 September.

MEC Mandla Makhupula has already conceded that the Department has no intention of filling the 3 650 posts advertised. He was responding to DA questions in the legislature’s education committee on Tuesday.

The DA calls on MEC Makhupula to immediately withdraw the advert. The MEC must also issue a public apology and a full account of the Department’s real intentions for the number of teaching posts in the Eastern Cape.

There are currently 64 752 teaching posts declared for 2012. For 2013, the official post declaration by the MEC stands at just 60 820 due to a funding shortfall.

The advert seems to have been an attempt by the Department to create the impression that it is complying with a high court order to fill all teaching posts for 2012.

The Department revealed in Tuesday’s committee that is currently back in court seeking a variation order allowing it to not comply with the court’s original ruling.

This is a clear-cut case of criminal and unethical conduct by the Department to publish false information about available posts.

The hopes of thousands of potential teachers have been unnecessarily raised.

Besides this, the intended cutting of nearly 4 000 posts will not only affect the individual teachers, but their families as well. This approach is likely to worsen the exodus of teachers to other provinces.

The DA’s position is that not a single teacher should lose their job. The principle must be that children can’t suffer from this crisis.

The DA will lead a march of concerned citizens to the Education Department headquarters in Zwelitsha tomorrow. We will deliver a memorandum of demands aimed at saving our teachers.