DA calls on education MEC to intervene so Zim teachers can return to SA

The DA says Zimbabwean teachers locked out of SA due to Covid-19 restriction should be allowed to return to SA.

According to the provincial education department, four teachers who were locked out have since been assisted.

The department says teachers who are still outside SA’s borders are

on unpaid leave.

The DA in Limpopo is calling on Education MEC Polly Boshielo to

intervene and approach the home affairs department to help Zimbabwean

teachers return to SA.

According to the party, an education portfolio committee meeting last

week revealed that about 400 gateway subject teachers, mostly from

Zimbabwe, were unable to enter South Africa due to border restrictions.

Gateway subjects include mathematics, physical science, economics,

agricultural sciences and accounting.

“The failure of these gateway subject teachers to enter the country and

resume work will have an extremely negative effect on the preparation of

learners for their final exams and their chances to achieve good marks

for admission into institutions of higher learning.

“The impact of the failure of these teachers to resume work is further

compounded by the fact that almost half the school year has been lost

due to Covid-19,” DA provincial legislature member Jacques Smalle said

on Tuesday.

According to the provincial education department, of the 379 foreign

teachers who teach maths and sciences at high schools in the province,

only 20 were locked in Zimbabwe due to the lockdown.

The Department of Home Affairs has since assisted four teachers to

return, Limpopo education spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene said.


Sixteen remain outside the country and processes are under way to ensure

they return to classes, she added.

“These educators are appointed in temporary posts due to the nature of

their citizenship. They are paid a normal educator salary through the

PERSAL system.”

Meanwhile, those who remain outside of South Africa’s borders are

“deemed to be on unpaid leave”.

Chuene said the department stopped their salaries and substituted them.


But Smalle said the teachers should be allowed to enter the country as a

matter of urgency, given their contribution to the vital subject areas

they teach.


He added that, in the 2019 final matric exams, the province achieved

lower percentages than the national average of pupils who achieved above

30% in all 11 gateway subjects.



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