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SA cries for Zimbabweans teachers

by Staff reporter
15 Sep 2020 at 17:46hrs | Views
The DA in Limpopo is calling on Education MEC Polly Boshielo to intervene and approach the home affairs department to help Zimbabwean teachers return to SA.

According to the party, an education portfolio committee meeting last week revealed that about 400 gateway subject teachers, mostly from Zimbabwe, were unable to enter South Africa due to border restrictions.

Gateway subjects include mathematics, physical science, economics, agricultural sciences and accounting.

"The failure of these gateway subject teachers to enter the country and resume work will have an extremely negative effect on the preparation of learners for their final exams and their chances to achieve good marks for admission into institutions of higher learning.

"The impact of the failure of these teachers to resume work is further compounded by the fact that almost half the school year has been lost due to Covid-19," DA provincial legislature member Jacques Smalle said on Tuesday.

According to the provincial education department, of the 379 foreign teachers who teach maths and sciences at high schools in the province, only 20 were locked in Zimbabwe due to the lockdown.

The Department of Home Affairs has since assisted four teachers to return, Limpopo education spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene said.

Sixteen remain outside the country and processes are under way to ensure they return to classes, she added.

"These educators are appointed in temporary posts due to the nature of their citizenship. They are paid a normal educator salary through the PERSAL system."

Meanwhile, those who remain outside of South Africa's borders are "deemed to be on unpaid leave".

Chuene said the department stopped their salaries and substituted them.

But Smalle said the teachers should be allowed to enter the country as a matter of urgency, given their contribution to the vital subject areas they teach.

He added that, in the 2019 final matric exams, the province achieved lower percentages than the national average of pupils who achieved above 30% in all 11 gateway subjects.

"It is evident that the province cannot afford to carry on without these teachers."

Source - news24