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South African Government | 31 January 2023

Basic education sector to officially commence Phase IV of the Basic Education Employment Initiative

Phase IV of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) in the Basic Education Sector, implemented as the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI), will begin on Wednesday, 1 February 2023.

The commencement of Phase IV is aligned with the beginning of the 2023 academic year and provides an opportunity for the youth to be in schools at a critical time and period when they are needed. This follows successful implementation of Phase I – III, where more than 850 000 job opportunities were created for youth. The target for Phase IV is planned for 255 000 job opportunities for youth across the nine provinces.

The 255 000 is split into two cohorts of +/-150 000 and 105 000 youth, respectively. The first cohort starting on 1 February 2023 with the second cohort of 105 000 starting on 1 May 2023; however, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape will appoint single cohorts each, starting on 1 March and 1 February 2023, respectively.

Province: Eastern Cape Phase Target: 40 100 Cohort 1: 8 642 Cohort 2: 31 458 Province: Free State Phase Target: 15 500 Cohort 1: 6 200 Cohort 2: 9 300 Province: Gauteng Phase Target: 40 000 Cohort 1: 24 600 Cohort 2: 15 400 Province: Kwazulu-Natal Phase Target: 58 500 Cohort 1: 58 500 Cohort 2: 0 Province: Limpopo Phase Target: 35 000 Cohort 1: 17 500 Cohort 2: 17 500 Province: Mpumalanga Phase Target: 22 000 Cohort 1: 7 200 Cohort 2: 14 800 Province: Northern Cape Phase Target: 7 000 Cohort 1: 3 500 Cohort 2: 3 500 Province: North West Phase Target: 16 000 Cohort 1: 4 000 Cohort 2: 12 000 Province: Western Cape Phase Target: 21 000 Cohort 1: 21 000 Cohort 2: 0 Province: Total Phase Target: 255 100 Cohort 1: 151 142 Cohort 2: 103 958 The PYEI-BEEI leverages on the fact that there is a public school in every community in South Africa, which is an enabler for government to provide job opportunities to the most vulnerable youth, who under normal circumstance might have to leave their communities to access opportunities. Inclusiveness is thus a key pillar of the initiative.

In the same vein, schools have been encouraged to give opportunities to youth living with disabilities as well as more girls/females recruited. Schools have also been guided to prioritise youth living in communities where the schools are located. In this way, the youth do not have to spend money on transportation between their homes and the schools where they will be employed.

The PYEI Phase IV continues to aim at providing youth with soft and hard skills required in the world of work.

These are few examples that can be mentioned.

The focus for Phase IV is to provide support to educators to contribute towards improved learning outcomes. To this end, most of the youth will be working with educators in the classroom as Curriculum Assistants. Curriculum Assistants are not teachers and are not required to teach, as teaching and assessment remains the responsibility of the teacher. Reading Champions will assist learners with reading, to ensure that they can read for meaning.

The focus in this regard will be in the Foundation Phase to ensure that a solid foundation is built for future learning. E-Cadres will be required to assist with ICT integration in teaching and learning. In the past phases, schools have also used e- cadres to support with administrative tasks.

Other categories will be Care and Support Assistants, who will provide basic psychosocial support to learners; sports and enrichment assistants, who will support the implementation of sports, arts and culture activities; and handymen and women, whose main responsibility will be to help with the upkeep and maintenance of school buildings. All work that will be done by the youth will be supervised by a mentor.

Provision of orientation and training to the youth will be prioritised. Information regarding the different trainings can be accessed through the e-Cubed (E³) website is external).

The Department and Provincial Education Departments will work with different partners to achieve this purpose. These include NEMISA, which will offer Digital Literacy; University of Johannesburg, offering Artificial Intelligence in the Fourth Industrial Revolution; Digify Africa offering Online Safety. MTN and Anglo American have also pledged their support for the training of Curriculum Assistants and e-cadres, respectively.

The training of Reading Champions will be carried out by various non-governmental organizations, under the banner of the National Reading Coalition. Handymen will be provided with accredited training, ranging from painting, tiling, plastering, plumbing, etc. In Phase IV of the project the department is going to increase its effort to promote inclusive education awareness by all assistants. Assistants will be required to undergo orientation on inclusive education to understand that learners living with disabilities should be treated on an equal basis with other young people in the school and communities in which they live. The second phase of the training will focus on training youth placed in special schools across the country, and the aim is to capacitate them to be able to provide the necessary additional support to enhance learner’s participation and inclusion in school. The third phase of this training will focus on providing skills to assistants living with disabilities employed as part of the project.

The Department will continue to look for suitable partners to provide training to the youth as well as exit pathways. The training is essential to upskill the youth, while providing various exit pathways will ensure that the youth can build on their work experiences and skills gained through the PYEI-BEEI. Pathways to other opportunities will also ensure that the youth remain meaningfully engaged and make a positive contribution to society.

‘’The Department welcomes all the youth to the PYEI-BEEI and encourages them to take full advantage of the opportunities that they will get throughout their contract period’’ said National Project Manager, ‘’these job opportunities can catapult them into even greater things and allow them to develop as professionals’’ Lala Maje.

The Department of Basic Education will continue to monitor the impact of the PYEI- BEEI on the sector.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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