At the end of September 2017, there was a total of 580 vacant teaching posts, all on management level, at schools in Gauteng. This clearly goes to show that the education system in the province is dysfunctional, says adv Anton Alberts, chairperson of the Freedom Front Plus.
From the response to a written parliamentary question that adv Alberts addressed to the Minister of Basic Education, it can be gleaned that there are 62 vacant Principal posts, 109 vacant Deputy Principal posts and 409 vacant Head of Department posts. (Full question and answer below).
The Minister was unable to explain why the posts are not being filled. She was also unable to answer the questions pertaining to the number of schools in Gauteng, the number of schools that are not in use, or the number of schools that must be built to accommodate the growing number of learners in the province.
She also did not provide an answer to the question of why Afrikaans schools are being put under pressure to become English, she only said that she is waiting for information from the Gauteng Department of Education.
Adv Alberts says it is a shame and that the MEC for Education in the province, Panyaza Lesufi, is probably deliberately permitting the situation where the vacant posts are not being filled and the money, that the Department received to build new schools, is not being used.
“By deliberately creating a situation where schools cannot function properly due to staff shortages and where learner numbers are artificially increased, because new schools are not being built, Lesufi is working towards justifying forcing Afrikaans-medium schools to enrol learners that speak other languages.
“From experience we know that single-medium Afrikaans schools become anglicised when they are forced to accommodate English as well.
“There is money to repair the schools that are available, to build new schools and to fill the vacant teaching posts. The FF Plus is of the opinion that Lesufi is deliberately not doing these things in an attempt to stamp out all the Afrikaans-medium schools in Gauteng,” says adv Alberts.