No incentives for Eastern Cape teachers
THE Eastern Cape education department is far from implementing incentives for teachers working in rural areas of the province despite being instructed to do so by provincial lawmakers.
This comes after it repeatedly failed to heed calls by the Eastern Cape Legislature to implement incentives as a way to attract mathematics and physical science teachers.
The failure has been blamed on the absence of a proper policy from the cash-strapped department.
"The department does not have a strategy on how to deal with this matter, which has resulted in the department losing educators with experience," the education portfolio committee said.
The committee has given the department 30 days to come up with a report on how it plans to introduce incentives.
Contacted yesterday, department spokesman Loyiso Pulumani had not responded to a list of questions at the time of going to press.
But a departmental report said parties serving on the provincial Education Labour Relations Council (PELRC) had been approached as part of consultation process to develop acceptable criteria to implement the incentive scheme.
Committee chairman Mzoleli Mrara said it was disturbing that the incentives had not been implemented.
He said the problem was compounded by the fact that the matter was being discussed with unions in the PELRC pending an agreement.
"They have not come up with a firm approach. Once it is in the bargaining council they must come with a framework as to who is a rural teacher or not."
The department has not made provision for the incentive in its budget.
Mrara said the incentive issue would be complicated with the redeployment of teachers from urban to rural areas after the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) lodged a dispute with the bargaining council.
The DA's Edmund van Vuuren said his party had been asking the department for a long time how it was going to attract teachers to rural areas without incentives.
"That's the only way to get teachers in rural areas. It [incentive scheme] has not been budgeted [for this financial year]."
Comment could not be obtained from Sadtu and National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa.