Thousands of unfilled funded vacancies deprive learners of quality education

Thousands of funded vacancies in the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) negatively impact our learners, who are deprived of quality education.

The department had 8434 funded vacancies to be filled in the 2022–2023 financial year. These funded vacancies are to ensure that there is quality teaching and learning.

This information was revealed in a reply to the DA’s written questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane.

According to the MEC, there are 290 vacant principal posts, while there are 81 who have been appointed as acting principals and 559 acting deputy principals.

Furthermore, there are 1934 departmental head vacancies. The failure to fill these vacancies creates instability at our schools, resulting in them being dysfunctional.

The department has also failed to employ 2800 teachers to ensure quality teaching and learning. Schools are overcrowded, and teachers are understaffed. Learners with special needs are battling because the department is failing to fill 480 vacancies for education specialists and therapists. There are 4343 teachers employed temporarily.

The unfilled funded vacancies are weakening our education system. This is a result of a lack of planning and consequence management.

If Premier Panyaza Lesufi is serious about filling these vacancies, he will use his Nasi iSpani programme to prioritise all these funded vacancies to ensure the provision of quality basic education.

The DA demands that all funded vacancies be filled as a matter of urgency. Poorly performing schools are due to a lack of leadership because the department has failed to fill principal, deputy principal, and department head vacancies.

Disciplinary action must be taken against those who fail to do their job. Premier Lesufi must hold MEC Chiloane to account for failing to fill funded posts.2

When in government, the DA will focus on ensuring all funded vacancies, particularly critical posts, are filled urgently so that service delivery is not compromised.