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UIF payments urged for PYEI teaching assistants

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UIF payments urged for PYEI teaching assistants

UIF payments urged for PYEI teaching assistants.Teaching assistants, affected by the conclusion of the fourth phase of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI), are encouraged to avail of temporary financial assistance through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

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Taking Services to the People Campaign

The Department of Employment and Labour in Limpopo Province launches the second phase of its campaign, aiming to aid former Education Assistants (EAs) in claiming UIF benefits after the expiration of their contracts.

Importance of UIF for Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants, having contributed to UIF during their employment, are eligible for financial relief. The initiative, initiated in November 2023, focuses on assisting approximately 35,000 teaching assistants in Limpopo.

Director Perspective on the Campaign

Vuledzani Netshituka, Director of Beneficiary Services at UIF, emphasizes the significance of teaching assistants taking advantage of the campaign and reassures active efforts to address undeclared and expired claims.

Employment Opportunities for Former Teaching Assistants

The Department’s Public Employment Services (PES) branch, on-site during the campaign, registers CVs on the Employment Services of South Africa (ESSA) system, aiming to enhance future employment prospects for former teaching assistants.

Campaign Schedule and Locations

The campaign’s first week, from January 15 to January 19, 2024, will be conducted in various districts, providing accessible services to former teaching assistants.

Conclusion

The “Taking Services to the People” Campaign in Limpopo Province aims to alleviate the financial challenges faced by teaching assistants post-PYEI. It not only facilitates UIF claims but also opens avenues for future employment, reflecting a commitment to community support and empowerment.

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Funza Lushaka Teaching Bursaries CUT By Department

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Funza Lushaka Teaching Bursaries CUT By Department

Funza Lushaka Teaching Bursaries CUT By Department. South Africa education system faces a critical shortage of teachers, particularly in areas like the foundation phase where students are taught fundamental skills like reading. However, recent budget cuts have led to reduced funding for teaching bursaries, potentially impacting the number of new teachers entering the profession.

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The Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme

The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme plays a crucial role in encouraging young people to pursue teaching careers by providing comprehensive bursaries for teaching qualifications. These bursaries cover Bachelor of Education (BEd) and Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) courses at all 26 public universities in South Africa.

One of the key objectives of the Funza Lushaka bursaries is to address critical shortages of teachers in specific subject areas. However, due to budget constraints imposed by the National Treasury, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has announced a reduction in the number of bursaries awarded through the programme, leading to concerns about the impact on teacher production.

Impact of Budget Cut

The reduction in Funza Lushaka bursaries is a result of broader budget cuts affecting the education sector. According to DBE Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga, these cuts were necessary to manage financial constraints. Additionally, the rising cost of university tuition has further limited the number of bursaries available to prospective teaching students.

Concerns Raised by NAPTOSA

The National Professional Teacher Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) has strongly criticized the DBE’s decision to reduce funding for the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme. NAPTOSA Executive Director Basil Manuel has expressed concern over the mismatch between the types of teachers being produced and the specific needs of the education system.

Manuel highlights the shortage of foundation phase teachers (Grades 1 to 3) as a particular area of concern. He emphasizes the importance of specialized training for teachers in the foundation phase, especially in areas like reading instruction. Manuel argues that without proper training, teachers may struggle to meet the needs of young learners, potentially contributing to high levels of illiteracy.

Future Priorities

Despite the budget cuts, Mhlanga has stated that the DBE remains committed to addressing critical teacher shortages, particularly in the foundation phase, Mathematics, and mother-tongue teaching. The department plans to prioritize funding to produce teachers in these areas, acknowledging their importance in improving educational outcomes.

However, NAPTOSA has raised concerns about the availability of teachers qualified to teach in mother-tongue languages, particularly in the foundation phase. Manuel warns that without sufficient training for teachers in these areas, South Africa may struggle to improve literacy rates, especially among young learners.

Conclusion

The reduction in funding for the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme is likely to have significant implications for the education sector in South Africa, particularly in addressing critical teacher shortages. The decision has sparked debate about the importance of specialized teacher training, especially in areas crucial for early childhood development and literacy.

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