- Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has told parliament that 19 Cuban maths and science specialists were paid close to R14 million for services rendered in this financial year
- The specialists were contracted on a bilateral agreement on collaboration on professional services in the field of basic education between South Africa and the Cuban government
- Elaborating on the move by her department, Motshekga said all the Cuban specialists hold Masters degrees and have developed materials that were provided to the department
R13 931 883 has been paid to 19 Cuban maths and science subject specialists brought into the country in this financial year, according to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. This amounts to an average of R61 105 per month or R733 257 annually per specialist.
Motshekga made the revelations in a written response to parliament in a reply to questions from DA member of parliament Sicelo Mabika, who asked whether her department had concluded any employment agreements with any Cuban entity in the last 10 years.
Motshekga said a bilateral agreement on collaboration on professional services in the field of basic education was signed between South Africa and Cuba in November 2016. The agreement is valid for five years from 2017 until 2022.
"The agreement is for the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to employ 20 Cuban subject specialists in maths and science," said Motshekga.
A report said there are currently 19 Cuban specialists who are beefing up teacher capacity, among others things. Motshekga has since defended the Cubans’ employment, per IOL.
Motshekga defends the employment of subject specialists
"The specialists have long-standing practice in how they teach particular methodologies in maths and science that help teachers to master teaching difficult concepts and areas of work."
She said all the Cuban specialists hold Masters degrees and have also developed materials that were provided to the department to help convey understanding methodologies in the identified scarce skills subjects.
Due to the fact that the contingent are specialists in maths and science, their employment requires them to train teachers and strengthen the sector capacity, and not to teach the children.
"Since their arrival, they were able to assist the department in identifying some of the problems that the department has experienced in how to teach and what better pedagogical approaches can be explored to overcome these challenges."
"They have conducted meaningful workshops for teachers and subject advisers that help them to better understand the concepts so they are able to go back into the classroom to teach the learners based on this assistance," added the minister.
South Africans react to news that Motshekga is now acting president
Briefly News reported previously that while President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the State funeral service of the late former president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, on Friday, 2 July, Motshekga was appointed to serve as Acting President.
With Vice President David Mabuza currently in Russia to undergo medical consultations, Motshekga was appointed to hold the fort, instead. Twitter exploded on the heels of the announcement, with many South Africans finding humour in the news.
Some were hoping that Motshekga might change lockdown regulations while others hoped that she would pardon former president Jacob Zuma, who is due to serve 15-months in prison for contempt of court.
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Source: Briefly News