300,000 ‘school assistant’ jobs created across South Africa

Youth employment stimulus was used to create jobs in basic education.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) says it has created over 300,000 jobs at schools across the country, using the Presidential Youth Employment Stimulus released in December 2020.

The department says it created employment opportunities for a total of 319,091 education and general education assistants between the ages of 18 and 35. More than 868,000 applications were received when the initiative was started and out of the 300,000 successful candidates, 200,000 were education assistants and 100,000 were general school assistants.

The role of education assistants is to support teachers and learners in the classroom, while general school assistants are in place to assist schools to comply with Covid-19 protocols.

Recruitment was primarily conducted at the community level, with priority given to those within schools’ catchment areas. The DBE partnered with Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator to digitise the recruitment processes in seven of the nine provinces.

The department said the programme, whose aim was to use direct public investment to create opportunities for employment and to provide support to workers negatively impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, comes to an end on 31 March 2021.

The programme also helped save over 25,950 school governing body (SGB) funded posts in public and government-subsidised independent schools. These jobs came under risk when school fees collection suffered because of financial difficulties caused by Covid-19.