Shocking state of teacher qualifications in SA

The Department of Basic Education is moving to ensure teachers in all provinces get their qualifications in order.

The department is on a drive to assist teachers to complete their National Qualification Framework (NQF) Level 4, whilst 4,000 more teachers are receiving support to complete either a Bachelor of Education or Diploma in Grade R teaching.

This after the department took note of the report by the Auditor-General in terms of unqualified and under-qualified teachers for the year 2013.

The report of the Auditor-General, which was tabled in Parliament last week, found that half the teachers in Grade R do not have the minimum qualification to teach in that grade.

“It says in 2013, 16,520 of 21,207 (78%) Grade R teachers did not have a diploma to teach at this level in line with the NQF. As a result of the AG’s work, the department conducted its own audit to verify the data and found in fact there were 12,336 teachers who were in need of qualification upgrading,” said the department.

It said the survey conducted in 2014 established that, nationally, 12,336 teachers have been found to be in need of qualification upgrading, either in the form of a B.Ed. or Grade R Diploma.

“In addition to the support initiatives in place by the DBE, provincial education departments such as the North West have registered 50 practitioners at the North West University for the Diploma in Grade R teaching; the Gauteng Department has plans to enrol 500 Grade R practitioners in a three-year NQF level 6, and the Northern Cape Department has also enrolled 130 Grade R practitioners with NWU for a Diploma in grade R teaching,” said the department.

The department said it notes challenges being experienced in the capacity of Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) to enrol teachers on the programme which is currently low.

“At present, there are only four institutions offering the programme with a total capacity of 2,690 per year, thus making it difficult for the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) to enrol the numbers required to reduce the backlog at the pace required.

“The department is in discussions with the relevant Higher Education forums to increase capacity to absorb the numbers at the required rate,” said the department.

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Shocking state of teacher qualifications in SA