Western Cape MEC David Maynier says his department is able to hire more than a thousand teachers in the province for the academic year 2023.
“Last month I met with stakeholders as part of the annual consultation process under the provisions of the Educators Employment Act, and shared the news that the basket of affordable teacher vacancies will be expanded by 1,143 posts by 2023,” he said. Maynier. .
“This increased allocation will allow for the appointment of up to 1,143 additional teachers to the current staff of the Western Cape Education Department.”
He said the details of the distribution of these posts are yet to be finalized as part of the stakeholder consultation process. “This is a much-needed boost to our system. In previous years, our budget has allowed us to expand by only 6 additional posts, as in 2016, with increases thereafter.
“What this increase does is put us in a better position to expand learning opportunities and provide quality education in the Western Cape,” said Maynier.
He said that once agreements with education stakeholders on the distribution of the posts are finalized, the department can inform schools about the allocation of teachers for 2023. This is expected to be communicated by the end of August 2022. schools the opportunity to plan ahead for the 2023 school year, the MEC said.
“Our principals, teachers and staff are our greatest asset, and they are always willing and able to share their experience and knowledge with those who join our schools through our new postal assignments,” said Maynier.
|Year||Number of teachers||Added teacher posts|
|2017||32 320||+ 281|
|2021||33 865||No change|
|2023||36 417||+1 143|
*Adjusted April 1st
New appointments within the province come at a time when education experts point to an impending skills shortage in the country. Nearly half of South Africa’s teachers will have to retire in the next 10 years, according to Julian Hewitt, chief executive officer of the educator scholarship program, the Jake Gerwell Fellowship.
In a recent conversation with 702, Hewitt said the Department of Education payroll shows the country’s schools are expected to run out of highly skilled teachers. The latest annual report from the Jake Gerwell Fellowship shows that 45% of all government teachers will retire in the next decade, indicating a potential teacher crisis.
“At least half of the teachers in South Africa are currently in their 50s and the retirement age is 60, so there is a crisis looming.”
This is compounded by the other major challenge facing the industry, which is that little use is made of teaching as a career of choice, Hewitt said.
One possible reason for this is the relatively low salaries within the profession. In February, the Department of Basic Education published updated information on how much money teachers make in South Africa.
Data published by the Ministry of Education shows that the average teacher turnover over the five years to 2020 was 15,200. The effect of Covid-19 was also directly observable in 2020 and 2021, with an increase in the number of educators who died, it said.
However, it said the country’s schools could replace these educators.
“Given the current output of education graduates, there is sufficient supply, at least in terms of quantity to meet the need.” It said the offer is still preferred by SP/FET graduates. “Any indication that more educators are leaving the system than entrants may be a function of supply or availability of posts rather than shortage of supply.”
The department states that one of the proxy indicators of teacher shortage is the extent to which schools employ unqualified educators.
“The number of unqualified teachers in schools has decreased significantly over the years. At the end of December 2021, there were 1,028 unqualified educators working in schools, representing 0.3% of all educators. Initiatives such as the Funza Lushaka Bursary scheme have helped to improve supply in scarce areas of specialization.”
The pay of teachers in the country is based on ‘notches’ by job level – with an entry and a maximum notch reflecting public service pay increases in 2021.
“This is a basic pensionable salary excluding benefits and the additional non-retirement general allowance of R1,000 that was part of the salary agreement,” the Ministry of Education said.
The annual entry threshold for an educator who meets the minimum qualification, which is currently Relative Equivalent Qualification Value (REQV) 13, or a Matric plus three years of study, is R214.908. In comparison, the minimum participation for a teacher with REQV 14 (Matric plus four years of study) is R284.238.
Most newcomers to the system have a four-year qualification or have at least REQV14, the department said.
This figure steadily increases with age and experience, with school principals earning more than R1 million on the high side.
The department pointed out that the current system is designed in such a way that teachers gradually earn more as they progress in the system.
“The Occupational Dispensation (OSD) reform introduced a salary structure with long and overlapping scales, whereby an educator, provided he achieves satisfactory performance, can make effective annual progress for the remainder of his career,” it said.
Costs for employer and age
“As expected, the percentage difference between the 30s and below and the 65s and above is high, at 37%, as the older educators are more likely to be in school management positions,” the department said.
“If we only look at the PL1 category, the effect of age is much lower: 18% between the youngest and oldest groups.” The biggest difference when looking at the percentage between age categories is the difference between 31-39 and 40-49.
“Age does affect earnings, but to a lesser extent than promotion to higher positions. In general, age, as linked to pay increase in terms of the OSD, should lead to increased earnings even without promotion.
Read: Major skills shortage threatens schools in South Africa