Expatriate educators bear brunt of KZN xenophobia
by NJABULO BUTHELEZI
DUNDEE, (CAJ News) – XENOPHOBIA is said to be “institutionalised” in some districts of KwaZulu-Natal Province where expatriate teachers are reportedly victimized.
It appears no matter how hard those foreign nationals provide their essential service to the local communities, the district education officers do not value this skill neither appreciate it.
Pleas from both local principals and learners have been made in many parts of Msinga and surrounding districts of the northern KwaZulu Natal to find proper replacement of foreign teachers before terminating their contracts, but some district education officers have gone ahead to cut their contracts with no replacements as there were no skilled local teachers to takeover the open vacancies.
To complicate matters, foreign-born teachers in Msinga district and surrounding parts of the province are yet to receive their salaries since January.
As CAJ News reports, almost all the schools that terminated contracts for foreign teachers were yet to find replacements with learners spending hours idle.
A survey in the affected areas revealed that the learners were finding it difficult to cope with the gaps left by foreign teachers.
“At first, the department of education sent a circular in December 2014 terminating contracts only for foreign teachers at primary schools, but surprisingly, when the second term opened in April, most of secondary or high school teachers, who were not notified were stopped from working.
“Worse still, we are yet to receive our salaries! We have not protested or demonstrated since we preferred dialogue, but we need our salaries for the rendered service.
“We hear some district education officers are threatening principals who engaged foreign teachers with new demands that they pay those teachers directly from their pockets, not government. This is shocking and unbelievable,” one teacher said.
More than 100 teams in one district have been stopped especially those mainly teaching science subjects in the country.
Principals vowed to expose those district education officers purging on foreign nationals despite their failure to get local teachers to replace them.
It has been alleged foreign teachers in KwaZulu Natal were yet to receive their salaries amid the xenophobic violence that erupted in the province.
About seven foreign nationals have been confirmed killed with more than 2 000 others rendered displaced from their homes.
– CAJ News
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