EC schools claim R30m for teachers: Daily Dispatch

THE Eastern Cape education department will reimburse about R30million to former Model C schools for hiring teachers in state jobs.

This was announced by MEC Mandla Makupula to parliamentary questions asked by DA shadow MEC for education Edmund van Vuuren.

Makupula said the payment would be made to 31 schools who claimed the money.

“In this financial year, the department has received claims from schools that require reimbursement of a sum of R28 638 896.”

Asked by Van Vuuren if the department had paid out R25-million for hiring teachers last year, Makupula replied that it had.

He said a verification process was undertaken to ensure validity of the claims. The process included:

  • Schools providing their post establishments;
  • Minutes of school governing body meetings that took a decision to fill the vacancy;
  • Amounts paid by the school including a bank statement; and
  • The name and profile of teacher.

Legal Resource Centre (LRC) regional director Sarah Sephton said the reimbursement followed the centre’s legal challenge on behalf of schools.

Sephton, however, said there were about 120 former Model C schools in the province that need to be reimbursed. “The amounts are estimated to be a total of R100-million.”

She said there were also poor schools in the province facing the same problem.

In total, she said there were about 3 000 vacant posts that needed to be the filled this year.

Schools would again be faced with the same challenge of having to resort to hiring teachers on behalf of the state. Sephton said temporary teachers were the most affected as they received lower salaries than what they were qualified for.

Southernwood Primary School principal Mike Kockott said the school was waiting for money paid to three temps over the past five months.

National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa provincial chief executive Peter Duminy welcomed the MEC’s announcement.

“There are still many schools that do not have teachers and we are going to engage with the department to get an update figure of how many teachers are needed.”— By MSINDISI FENGU