The education portfolio committee meeting held last week discovered that the Limpopo province has about 400 gateway subject teachers mostly from
Zimbabwe that cannot enter the province to teach through the border due to cross border travel restrictions.
Gateway subjects refer to subjects like Mathematics, Physical Science, Economics, Agricultural Sciences, Geography and Accounting which are considered critical for the country’s development and economic growth.
These subjects are also critical for entrance into higher education programmes that will offer greater availability of job opportunities.
According to the Democratic Alliance in Limpopo the failure of these gateway subject teachers to enter the country and resume work will have an extremely negative effect on the preparation of learners for their final exams and their chances to achieve good marks for admission into institutions of higher learning.
DA’s Jacque Smalle said the impact of the failure of these teachers
to resume work is further compounded by the fact that almost half the
year has been lost due to COVID-19.
He called on Limpopo MEC for Education, Polly Boshielo to engage
her national Home Affairs counterpart Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to allow
the gateway subject teachers working in Limpopo to enter the country.
“In the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams Limpopo had lower percentages than the national averages of learners that achieved 30% and above in all eleven of the gateway subjects. It is evident that the province cannot afford to carry on without these teachers,” said Smalle
He said the teachers should be allowed to enter the country as
a matter of urgency given their immense contribution to the education of
learners in the province and the high demand for their skills.
“The impact of COVID-19 on the schooling year should see gateway subject teachers being viewed as critical skills and they should be allowed to enter the country, provided that they have valid work permits and have undergone the necessary screening.”