Growing calls for EC teacher shortage to be tackled

Schools are either being forced to go without enough teachers or to employ extra staff at their own expense.

FILE: A shortage of teacher at 90 Eastern Cape schools is forcing school governing bodies to hire extra staff at their own expense. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - There appears to be a major shortage of teachers at 90 Eastern Cape schools.

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) says recruitment processes implemented by the Department of Education are leaving many schools in the province short-staffed.

School governing bodies say they are forced to either go without enough teachers or to employ additional teaching staff at their own expense.

The schools were represented by the LRC in the Grahamstown High Court yesterday where they demanded the department reimburse them for the R81 million spent to hire the extra teachers.

LRC director Susan Sephton says, "For us, it basically means waiting another year without teachers. To the department, it means finding the teachers at schools where they aren't needed and moving them to schools where they are needed."

The department has however argued that it does not currently have the funds to reimburse the schools and cannot be swayed on which teachers to employ.

Judgment is expected to be handed down next week.