Teacher vacancy rate increases

The overall teacher vacancy rate has increased across all categories in South African schools.

Teacher Felix Gamakhulu teaches social sciences and history at Qunu Junior Secondary School, which Mandela attended at its old location, a few hundred metres away. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Basic Education on Tuesday painted a bleak picture of its human resources data system.

The department briefed Parliament's portfolio committee on basic education on teacher supply and demand.

In Gauteng there was a vacancy rate of just over three percent in March.

The data system showed that the Western Cape had the highest vacancy rate at 18 percent in that month.

But, the department conceded that the quality and accuracy of its data is questionable.

Members of Parliament (MPs) questioned the accuracy of the department's presentation.

But chairperson Hope Malgas told members to give the department the benefit of the doubt for now.

The department's Dawie Pillay told the committee the overall vacancy rate has increased in all categories and provinces between January and March 2012.

The number of temporary appointments has also increased from eight to 12 percent.

She said the Western Cape has the highest number of qualified teachers entering the system at 939 while only 120 entered the system in the Eastern Cape in 2012.

Thousands of Eastern Cape learners do not have teachers, and in some schools teachers are forced to take on admit and support duties.