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PEU WELCOMES THE R7 BILLOIN ALLOCATION TO DBE
The Professional Educators’ Union (PEU) welcomes the allocation of R7 billion to the Department of Education (DBE) from the R500 billion fiscus, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, as an initiative to stimulate the economic growth. The initiative will indeed serve as a relief and cushion on the negative impact of COVID-19, which has invariably and disproportionately affected the lives of many South Africans on many fronts.
We further support the move by DBE that the allocation will be used for the Basic Education Employment Initiative, that will see schools employing Education Assistance, Caretakers, Screeners and Cleaners, with biasness towards our youths.
We must however be quick to clear the perception that the relief will be addressing the current challenge of severe shortage of teachers and infrastructure, to comply with additional classes so created, as an endeavour to comply with social distancing, as one of the cardinal pillars of safety measures against COVID-19, which has left teachers to be contend with additional workload.
Whilst we welcome the initiative and its good intentions, the devil is always going to be in the details, on how these funds will be utilised. PEU thus urges DBE to put clear systems in place, as well as directives and guidelines on how the money is going to be utilised, particularly that a big chunk of R6 998 billion will be disbursed to provinces. There is a need for constant monitoring and feedback on how the allocated funds are utilised, to obviate the unintended consequences that normally comes with lack of proactiveness and supervision on the allocated fiscus.