National Treasury has agreed to give the basic education department R7bn funding. The department will use the funding to employ a total of 319 000 new staff members at more than 23 000 public schools.
This comes after the department applied for funding from the Treasury to fund several projects including the Education Assistants Programme (EducAP).
Of the 319 000 staff members, the department plans to employ 200,000 education assistants and a total of 100,000 cleaners and screeners among others.
A total of R1.43bn will go towards funding governing body posts at schools where parents pay fees. Approximately R1bn will go towards private schools that are subsidised by the government.
More than 44 000 teachers appointed by governing bodies will benefit from the funding and more than 280 000 learners in private schools will benefit.
In August, the National Alliance of Independent Schools (Naisa) asked the government to set up a R2 billion special relief fund for independent schools, as many had been badly affected by parents not paying school fees.
Chairperson of Naisa, Mandla Mthembu said many parents were been unable to pay school fees because they had lost their jobs or had their salaries cut.
He said some schools had been receiving subsidies from the government for some time, but these subsidies were not enough.
“What government has done in the meantime is it has made sure that those schools are getting their subsidies on time. But we said over and above that, we need to have a dedicated fund where independent schools that are struggling right now can apply to and be able to get relief.”
According to a presentation the department gave to unions, a total of R4.47 billion will be used to pay the assistants. They will receive a stipend of R3 500 per month with 1% of their stipend being used to contribute to the UIF.
Provincial project management will receive R1.2 million and the basic education department will receive an additional R1.2 million to go towards support and monitoring.
The assistants will have many duties such as supporting teachers, helping with the distribution of teaching materials and helping learners with after school activities such as sports and cultural activities.
The department has recommended that schools employ unemployed youth as teaching assistants, mainly in the age range of 18-24 years old.
Those hoping to be employed would need to have an NQF level 4 qualification.
General assistants will also be employed and the department has recommended that schools employ unemployed people older than 18 but younger than 35 years of age.
The department will provide a sample of job descriptions when the jobs become available.
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