Build One South Africa movement (BOSA) leader Mmusi Maimane will lead a march to Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s Tshwane office next week to bring national attention to the cause of unemployed qualified teachers in the country.
BOSA, together with the Unemployed Educators’ Movement of SA, is calling on the department to employ the nearly 30 000 unemployed, qualified teachers on the UEMSA database and fill the 24 000 vacant teacher posts in the country.
Maimane said the high vacancy rate affected the quality of education in the country’s schools.
“The greatest failure of the government is the mis-education of the children of this country.
“We know that in classrooms with an average of 30 to 35 children, they can focus and do better, but there are classrooms with an average of 70 children because there are not enough teachers. Here children cannot focus, and teachers are overwhelmed.”
Maimane said they would be advocating for other issues, including dropping the 30% pass mark requirement for subjects.
“The notion that the 30% pass mark makes a pupil proficient is a fallacy. We argue that (Hendrik) Verwoerd would have been proud of this decision as the majority of kids affected by this are black children.
“The drop out rates of children who should be in matric is 40%, and this has led to a low skills base. Many of the children who matriculate are unskilled and unemployable.”
Maimane said they were fighting for teachers and learners to be in smaller classrooms where there is a consistent focus and for quality education with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“You only see the benefit of good schooling if there are more teachers, the teacher-to-pupil ratio is reduced and if the quality of educators improves,” said Maimane.
Maimane said they were committed to being a constructive force by working in conjunction with established role-players to solve the country’s core challenges – unemployment, education, safety, healthcare and government efficiency.
UEMSA has a database of almost 30 000 qualified teachers who are either unemployed or working another job while waiting to ply their trade.
Maimane said they had signed a memorandum of understanding to formalise a partnership that will work on ‘creating public awareness and taking a stand against issues such as the teachers’ intake process, the ratio of qualified teachers to students, subject allocation to unqualified teachers, abuse of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative and salary kickbacks’.