Government, through its Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI), is contributing to the fight against unemployment by enabling unemployed youth to become education assistants and general school assistants around the country.
This is part of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative, which forms part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus set up in 2020 in response to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on employment.
The BEEI created a cumulative 590 000 employment opportunities in phases 1 and 2. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) says one of the objectives of the BEEI is to skill the beneficiaries through orientation and training that is provided through various partners.
In April, as part of the third phase of the programme, the DBE offered new contracts to more than 250 000 qualifying candidates who were already part of the programme in Phase 2. According to the department, they were placed in different schools for their five-month contract.
The DBE says some of the youth did not proceed to Phase 3 because they did not meet the requirements. Some were removed from the programme following reports of misconduct, including absenteeism and involvement in criminal activities. Others were beneficiaries of the R350 grant and thus did not qualify for the programme.
Charmaine Afucara (22) says the programme provided much-needed relief to her and her family.
She is employed at Magigwana Secondary School in Mpumalanga as an education assistant and helps teachers with the marking of learners’ books and learners with reading. Before obtaining the teacher assistant post, she had been volunteering at another school.
Coming from a disadvantaged background, Afucara says life was tough for her before she got the job as she did not have an income.
The initiative also provided a lifeline for a Gauteng-based education assistant, Cli-Anne Symons (24), who holds a Bachelor of Administration honours degree. She heard about the DBE opportunity from a friend and applied on the SA Youth website.
Before getting the post, Symons could only secure odd jobs and was battling depression as a result of unemployment.
Becoming an education assistant
People aged between 18 and 35 qualify to apply as education assistants. They must have passed matric English. An NQF level 4, 6 and 7 qualification certificate is an added advantage. Applicants must not be employed or be undergoing education or training. They must not be receiving any form of government grant, stipend or wage.
The DBE says Phase 4 recruitment will start in September 2022, targeting youth who did not participate in the earlier phases. December 2022 and January 2023 will be used for training, with placement in February 2023.
Keep watching the data-free SAYouth.mobi website for updates.