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Unpaid teaching assistants will be paid by the end of January, says basic education department

The basic education department says it will pay outstanding stipends. Stock photo.
The basic education department says it will pay outstanding stipends. Stock photo.

The department of basic education has committed to paying teaching and general school assistants who were not paid their stipends in December by the end of this month.

The department said it is working with provincial departments to implement the Presidential Employment Stimulus, through the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI). 

Provincial education departments were unable to process the payments partly due to incomplete paperwork, which has since been returned to the schools affected for rectification.

This happened at a time when schools were busy dealing with the administration of the end-of-year examinations, and preparations for the 2021 academic year, including finalising work related to 2021 post provisioning,” the department said.

In October last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled a R100bn fund to create 800,000 public sector jobs in the next three years. Ramaphosa said 300,000 of these jobs would target youth who will be hired as teaching assistants.

He said they would earn a stipend of at least R3,500 per month.

“We are going to create 300,000 opportunities for young people to be engaged as education and school assistants at schools throughout the country, to help teachers with basic and routine work so that more time is spent on teaching and enabling learners to catch up from time lost because of Covid,” he said.

IOL reported earlier this month that teaching assistants in KwaZulu-Natal were kept in the dark about why they hadn't been paid. The DA in the province also claimed that the assistants were being sent from “pillar to post” without any clear explanation on the cause of the delay.

As public schools prepare to reopen on February 15, teaching assistants are expected to fill in for teachers who are approved to work from home due to comorbidities

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