The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Education has revealed that the number of unqualified teachers in classrooms has increased from 215 to 2810 in May 2022.
In responses to parliamentary questions, the department revealed that in February 2020 it had just 215 unqualified teachers which has increased by more than tenfold to 2810 in May 2022.
UNQUALIFIED TEACHERS INCREASE IN KZN
The KZN Education reply also showed that the worst affected areas in terms of unqualified teachers are:
• Zululand with 357 unqualified educators
• King Cetshwayo with 325
• UThukela with 281
• Umgungundlovu with 270 and;
• Pinetown with 267.
According to the Democratic Alliance (DA) in KZN, Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu, in his February 2020 parliamentary reply he stated that all unqualified teachers had been given 30 days’ notice with effect from 1 March and that they would be replaced with qualified educators by April.
DA: ‘THERE’S NO SHORTAGE OF QUALIFIED TEACHERS’
The DA said one of the excuses offered by the Department of Education (DoE) for this debacle is that the current unqualified educators are only in Grade R.
Furthermore, the party said the Grade remains significant as part of the overall education process and while one of the biggest problems within the Foundation Phase is the inability to read with meaning and the lack of basics when it comes to subjects such as mathematics.
“While these are not taught in Grade R, the year forms the basis for developing cognitive skills for the academic years that follow.”
The party also questioned why unqualified Grade R teachers are being employed when there is no shortage of qualified teachers sitting at home.
“That the DoE has opted to keep unqualified individuals on its payroll, while qualified teachers struggle with unemployment after years of study and debt, is beyond comprehension,” the DA said.
The DA further suggested that KZN Education utilise the unqualified teachers experience and skills, either as teacher assistants or within the ECD sector.