The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has received additional funding to appoint substitute teachers to replace those who have been granted concessions due to their underlying health conditions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The department told members of the education portfolio committee on Wednesday that it had received about R52 million in additional funding.
It also claimed that all the schools which had applied had either been provided with substitute teachers or were at the interviewing stage of the process.
The province said about 6 000 teachers had applied for concessions.
Many schools in Durban had raised concerns that they were still waiting for substitute teachers.
Advocate Bheki Masuku, the deputy director-general for corporate services, said all the affected schools had been provided with three teachers from the department’s database and ordered to interview and appoint candidates immediately to ensure pupils were not without teachers.
Masuku said about 5 900 teachers would make arrangements with their principals to teach.
About 1 600 teachers had been granted concessions to remain at home while 255 were declined by Thandile, an independent body that monitors the health of teachers.
The declined applicants were ordered to return to school or take leave.
Masuku said the additional funding would be used to appoint 272 teachers, and the department would use its own budget to pay the balance of the substitute teachers to reach the 1 600 target.
Some principals said they were surprised by the department’s statement that all schools had been with substitute teachers.
“We have not received any substitute teachers, the department must provide proof that it has made any such appointments, my school and five other schools close to me have not received any substitutes,” said a principal who asked not to be named.
ANC committee member Nozipho Mavuso called for the department to decentralize the process of sending substitute teachers to schools.
IFP committee member Mtomuhle Khawula said some schools had not opened because of water problems.
Education head Dr. Enock Nzama said the supply of water by municipalities remained a challenge despite agreements that were in place.
“Some municipalities are not providing water as expected. In other cases there is no water, I am really in pain as this affects the running of schools.”
In other news – WATCH: Zodwa Wabantu’s [email protected] massage video reveals all
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