KZN Education Dept To Suffer 4000 Retrenchments Due To Budget Cut

The provincial education department in KwaZulu-Natal is in dire straits as it may have to retrench 4000 educators due to a reduction of its budget. The KZN Education Department budget has been cut by R6.3 billion despite already dealing with a massive shortage of teachers.

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The Education MEC in KwaZulu-Natal, Kwazi Mshengu has said that it came as a shock to find out that their provincial budget has been cut by R6.3 billion. He stated that this will have a severe impact on the department's ability to fill existing teacher vacancies and that they will have to retrench 4000 teachers.

The R6.3 billion cut which has been effected against the department has meant that there are teacher posts that we can not fill.

Mshengu says that there are currently 2000 teacher vacancies that the department has been unable to fill due to budget constraints.

In addition to this, the Treasury Department has also instructed KZN's education department to reduce its staff complement by 6114 out of which 2000 are educators which according to the MEC translates to the retrenchment of 4000 teachers, which he says is unsustainable.

In our view, this is not sustainable because each and every class deserves to have a teacher, so once you remove teachers from class, you are basically crippling the system because there will be no teaching and learning and that has been the major impact of this budget cut.

Mshengu further stated that this has been the case in some of the schools in the province. He adds that this has also negatively affected the progress of their infrastructure projects.

The provincial department has since raised the matter with the premier's office as well as the provincial treasury department during its recent provincial council meeting when they submitted a formal report about the implications of the issue. 

The Provincial Executive Council has since agreed to approach the national treasury department for additional funding in order to mitigate the retrenchments of educators in the province.

According to Mshengu, the possible impact of these retrenchments may differ from one school to another, depending on existing staff shortages and that this may affect certain subjects as some schools are yet to complete this year's curriculum.

The MEC says that he will be making an announcement at the end of the month on how many teachers are supposed to remain in the system for the 2022 academic year and that this will largely depend on the outcome of their request to national treasury.

 

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