Limpopo education ‘disaster’ threatens

Staff Writer | Aug 07, 2019
The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS) warns that an ‘education disaster is looming in Limpopo due to the provincial education department’s abuse of power’.

FEDSAS said ‘illegal actions’ regarding staff appointments risked ‘costing schools a lot of money’ and undermining quality education because of large-scale staff shortages.

The organisation has called on Education Minister Angie Motshekga to intervene ‘to prevent the collapse of the education system in Limpopo’.

FEDSAS deputy CEO Dr Jaco Deacon said in a statement: ‘The Limpopo Education Department acts as if there is no legislation in the province and in the process is trampling on the rights of educators, schools and governing bodies.’

Deacon said the organisation had received complaints about posts that had not been filled since 2011. Some school principal posts had been vacant for more than two years, but not advertised since 2017.

This ‘simply ignores’ regulations according to which positions should be advertised, with shortlisted candidates being interviewed by the school governing body (SGB). The SGB, in turn, must make its recommendation to the Head of Education.

‘In Limpopo, the department simply instructs principals and SGB chairpersons to be at the department at a specific date. The department then expects them to sign documentation in order for the department to “place” educators at schools. FEDSAS members who refuse to take part in this illegal process are threatened. As employees of the department, principals are placed under enormous pressure to sign documentation.’

Deacon said it would ‘cost schools thousands to fight these illegal actions in court’. In most instances the courts ‘side with governing bodies’, which meant taxpayers would be paying for the provincial education department’s ‘illegal actions’.

 

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