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The number of teachers will drop in 2013, as will the number of schools, while pupil numbers will increase in Grahamstown government schools, according to the Eastern Cape Education Department.
A document issued by the department on 5 October said that next year it will supply only 884 teachers for 26 159 pupils in the education department's Grahamstown district, which includes Port Alfred and Alexandria.
Around 560 pupils were expected to enrol, up from this year’s 25 298. This brings the pupil-teacher ratio up from 27.4 to 29.6. District director Amos Fetsha, could not say which schools would be without teachers, continuing the uncertainty they have been facing since the cuts were announced on 28 September.
At that time, MEC Mandla Makupula said the budget for 2013 posts was nearly R18 billion, which is about R880 million below the requirement. That allows for only 60 820 teaching posts. In addition, the number of schools will decrease from 81 to 78, putting further pressure on teachers who will be forced to have more pupils in their classrooms.
One of the principals contacted by Grocott’s Mail, who did not wish to be named, was apprehensive about the repercussions of the post announcement. He said the department had unilaterally declared the numbers, without giving teachers' unions adequate opportunity to respond.
South African Democratic Teachers' Union chair for the Grahamstown region, Mthetheli Kulati, said a meeting was scheduled for yesterday afternoon to formulate a response to the department.