Foreign teachers disturbed as salaries withheld

A teacher doing work on the blackboard

A teacher doing work on the blackboard

from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Pietermaritzburg, KZN
MARITZBURG, (CAJ News) – FOREIGN teachers, mainly Zimbabwean in KwaZulu Natal Province have reportedly not been paid any salaries since the beginning of the year as the Provincial Department of Education insists on paying them from April.

Investigations by CAJ News in Durban, Maritzburg, Dundee, Newcastle, Mnambithi and Grey Town established the majority of foreign teachers were struggling to get their dues for January, February and doubted they will be paid for the current month.

And the situation is dire for the educators.

“I have not been getting my salary since January until now (March 15) yet I work even weekends,” said a male Zimbabwean teacher.

“Where I’m staying, my landlord threatened to expel me but I begged him to be patient till the end of April,” he added.

A female colleague echoed his sentiments.

“I am scared. The Provincial Department of Education is rumoured to be unwilling to pay for the service rendered while preferring to start paying us for April,” she said.

Contacted for comment, South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) KwaZulu Natal Secretary, Nomarussia Kaluza, said the government must pay.

“All workers must be paid for their work. If not paid, they must come forward to us (the union) and register their grievances so that we assist,” Kaluza said.

Investigations by CAJ News revealed that some educators in mathematics, science and technology were joining private schools where they felt their expertise was appreciated.

It has emerged the Department of Education has terminated contracts for foreign primary school educators despite shortage of qualified teachers in those disciplines in the province.

A circular in possession of CAJ News, reads: “It must be considered that these educators (foreigners) can only be appointed by Head of Department at the level of Head Office provided that they meet all the requirements for the appointment.

“Professionally qualified foreign educators (Zimbabweans) that are offering scarce subjects must be treated as temporary educators provided that their work permits are valid. However, all foreign educators that are currently appointed at primary schools must be given notice of termination effective 1 January 2015.”

Several principals confirmed the contents of the circular.

“It is true. We have been advised not to employ or recruit or renew teachers, particularly foreigners.

“However, the main problem is that majority of our local teachers are not qualified to teach science, maths, accounts and technology hence our concern in purging foreigners, mainly Zimbabweans,” a district education officer said.

– CAJ News

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Posted by on Mar 16 2015. Filed under Exclusive, Featured, Finance, Finance & Banking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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