New Fixed-Term Contracts For School Assistants, Phase III Begins April

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Phase III of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) in the Basic Education sector begins next month.

The Department of Basic Education at the weekend said it “was pleased to confirm that Phase III of the PYEI in the Basic Education sector will commence from 1 April 2022”.

Phase II of the PYEI in the basic education sector has been implemented since 1 November 2021.

The department said the “current cohort of +/- 280 000 Assistants are on a five-month contract, which will expire on 31 March 2022”.

To ensure continuity, maintain stability, and sustained impact in schools, the department said, “youth appointed in schools as of 28 February 2022 will be offered new fixed-term contracts commencing on 1 April 2022 until 30 August 2022”.

Since the education sector has now returned to full capacity, the department said it had to consider the number of assistants that schools can accommodate, budgetary requirements and the value assistants add.

“It was decided that some candidates no longer meet the requirements to remain in the programme, therefore, not everyone will continue into Phase III,” said the department in a lengthy statement dated Sunday, 13 March 2022.

Upon the youth’s exit, the department through eCubed Technologies will provide exit packages that may include: how to build a CV, service letter, and information on other opportunities that the youth may access.

“It is worth noting that some of the youth who were initially part of the cohort in Phase I and II have since found employment elsewhere; registered for further studies or left the programme to pursue other opportunities,” said the department.

“The PYEI has, in this regard, fulfilled one of its mandates, that being the creation of pathways to further opportunities and success for the youth.

“All schools are required to complete and submit the details of all the youth meeting the requirements to be transitioned from Phase II into Phase III.”

A type-form is provided for this purpose through the Provincial Education Department.

“The completion of the type-form is thus mandatory,” said the department.

All schools are required to have details of their assistants captured on the National Data Management System.

“The systems department wants to acknowledge Bhelela Technologies for providing this data management system at no cost to the sector,” said the statement.

“The youth remaining in the programme will be given an opportunity to use the skills they have acquired through the training already provided to them in Phase II, to support teaching and learning in our schools.”

Term 1 of the 2022 academic year ends on 17 March 2022 for inland schools and 24 March 2022 for coastal schools.

Provincial Education Departments have been advised to “urgently communicate to schools on the termination of Phase II contracts and the commencement of Phase III contracts for Assistants”.

The department said it accepted the challenge to help mitigate the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in volatile, complex, and ambiguous circumstances.

The department said it swiftly adopted a “business unusual approach” to rescue the education sector and provide much-needed employment for the youth.

“The initiative has assisted the sector by providing capacity to schools to manage the impact of Covid-19 on schooling,” said the department.

During the difficult period, Assistants supported teachers and learners in classrooms.

The department said it would also want to acknowledge the partners that are working tirelessly in training the assistants in the identified sector priority areas.

These include Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) subjects, BCM subjects, Reading and Literary for Reading Champions, eCadres – ICT integrating in classrooms; Handymen/women – infrastructure maintenance, Child and Youth Care Workers – psychosocial support to learners and Sport and Enrichment.

The department urged all the successful young people to adhere to all the conditions of their hiring and to cooperate with school principals to whom they report.