The DBE is pleased to confirm that Phase III of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) in the Basic Education sector will commence from 1 April 2022. Phase II of the PYEI in the Sector has been implemented since 1 November 2021. 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 youth appointed in schools as at 28 February 2022, will be offered new fixed-term contracts commencing on 1 April 2022 until 30 August 2022.
Upon the youth’s exit, the Department, through eCubed Technologies, will provide exit packages which 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. 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 (PEDs). The completion of the type-form is thus mandatory. All schools are required to have their Assistants captured on the National Data Management System (DMS) as this is the official management and reporting system for the initiative. The systems department wants to acknowledge Bhelela Technologies for providing this data management system at no cost to the sector.
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. With Term 1 of the 2022 academic year ending on 17 March 2022 for inland schools and 24 March 2022 for coastal schools, PEDs should urgently communicate to schools on the termination of Phase II contracts and the commencement of Phase III contracts for Assistants. PEDs should issue circulars and all relevant documents for Phase III to schools in that regard. This will assist in providing certainty to the youth.
The Department accepted the challenge to help mitigate the devastating impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic in volatile, complex and ambiguous circumstances by swiftly adopting and implementing a business unusual approach to achieve the twin goals of rescuing the education sector and providing much needed employment to youth. The initiative was implemented under stringent timelines, with great efficiency. The Department wishes to acknowledge the contribution of partner SA Youth Mobi in the efficient processes implemented for recruitment of the youth both in Phase I and II. This partnership came at no cost to the sector. The initiative has positioned the Basic Education Sector as a vehicle for addressing systemic sectorial challenges and assisted government in making strides towards a post-COVID-19 future.
The initiative has assisted the sector by providing capacity to schools to manage the impact of COVID-19 on schooling, supported teachers and learners in classrooms, whilst supporting the Basic Education Sector as it repositions, reimagines and reboots the future beyond COVID-19. The Department also acknowledges the partners that are working tirelessly in training the Assistants in the identified sector priority areas: Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) subjects; BCM subjects; Reading and Literary for Reading Champions; eCadres – ICT integrating in classrooms; Handymen and women – infrastructure maintenance, Child and Youth Care Workers – psychosocial support to learners and Sport and Enrichment. The Department urges all successful young people to adhere to the conditions of their hiring and to cooperate with school principals to whom they report.
DDG Paddy Padayachee said that, “I want to acknowledge the impact that PYEI made to schools in the Basic Education Sector. From a social perspective, the employment opportunities assist in addressing the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality; which in the main affect women, youth and people living with disabilities. The project ignited flexibility, innovation and agility within the Department. For the young people that are placed in PYEI, this has provided a ray of hope, courage and a sense of service to their communities. Some youth have indicated that they used the money received to provide a bed for their parents, some are using the money to put food on the table at home since there is no one working within their household. The project further created a love for teaching in some of the youth. This is a beautiful story that will leave lasting footprints in the minds of all the youth that grabbed hold of the opportunity”.