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News and Opinions

Analysis: SA Must Up its Game and Produce More Teachers

"A Unesco report, which examined the number of teachers that each country needs, found that sub-Saharan Africa needs an additional 6.3 million teachers if it’s to attain universal primary education by 2030. The Centre for Development and Enterprise predicted that South Africa will need to have 456,000 teachers by 2025 to offer quality education. According to the Department of Basic Education, South Africa’s public education system has 410,000 teachers. These teachers are employed in approximately 25,000 schools across the country and are responsible for teaching 12.9 million pupils.

South Africa doesn’t graduate the adequate number of teachers to meet the supply and demand. Currently, the country’s initial teacher institutions graduate 15,000 new teachers per year. This is below the 25,000 mark required to maintain an effective teacher-pupil ratio."

Read more on Eyewitness News

Opinion: Lessons from New Zealand on education and teacher training

"Many countries around the world, such as Finland and New Zealand, have excellent models of education that can be drawn from. It goes without saying, that each country, the world-over, have their own demographic issues to take into account, but overall, by looking at what has already been implemented, and proven to be successful elsewhere, we can create and provide an education structure that is world-class, right here in South Africa."

Read the full article on News24

Teacher From Remote Kenyan Village is World's Best, Wins $1M

"A maths and physics teacher from a secondary school in a remote village in Kenya's Rift Valley has won the $1 million Global Teacher Prize for 2019, organisers have said. Peter Tabichi, who organisers say gives away 80% of his monthly income to the poor, received the prize at a ceremony Saturday in Dubai hosted by Hollywood star Hugh Jackman."

Read more on EWN

Broken teachers, broken children – the high cost of matric

"These human costs have meant that, for years, people in the education sector — including unions and academics — have warned about the dangers of obsessing about matric results while neglecting the foundation phase, during which the building blocks for a successful schooling career are laid.

Analysts have pointed out that extra teaching hasn’t translated to a better matric pass rate. For the past five years, the national pass rate has remained at about 70%."

Read the full article in Mail and Guardian

Fifth of teachers plan to leave profession within two years [UK]

 "Around one in five teachers (18%) [in the UK] expect to leave the classroom in less than two years while two-fifths of teachers, school leaders and support staff want to quit in the next five years – blaming “out of control” workload pressures and “excessive” accountability, according to a poll by the country’s biggest teaching union."

Read more in The Guardian

Proposal to automatically pass failing learners back on the table for South African schools

"Government is moving ahead with its plan to stop South African students from repeating lower grades multiple times. The policy of ‘automatic progression’ is once again on the table for local schools –  which proposes that a learner may only repeat a grade once in the Foundation Phase (Grade R – Grade 3) to prevent them from being retained in this phase for longer than four years."

Read more in Business Tech

Teachers are miserable because they’re being held at gunpoint for meaningless data[UK]

"Everyone seems to be dancing around the elephant in the room. Jeremy Corbyn is talking about scrapping Sats. The DfE is on the workload warpath. Ofsted is myth-busting itself out of the dark ages into the 21st century, saying it doesn’t care about marking any more. Almost a third of teachers quit in the first five years, and those who stay are burning out in record numbers."

Read more in The Guardian

Mass exodus of young teachers from South Africa

'A growing number of South African teachers are leaving their posts for positions abroad. Speaking to the Citizen, the South African Council of Educators (Sace) said the exodus of young, qualified teachers was of great concern. “This is a dire situation and it is not the first time that it is raised,” said Sace spokesperson Thembinkosi Ndhlovu. “We also dealt with this issue about a year or two ago after we realised that qualified South African teachers were leaving the country in their numbers to go abroad seeking greener pastures,” he said.'

Read more in Business Tech

US Consulate gives local teachers and pupils a boost

"Overcrowded classrooms, a lack of resources, teaching pupils who are experiencing trauma and handling diversity - these are some of the challenges facing teachers. But a partnership between the US and South Africa aims to find effective techniques to improve the quality of education and learning. The US Consulate in partnership with the Central Library and the American Corner hosted an event for education policy makers and teachers in the province.

Read more on IOL

Better trained teachers will lead to economic transformation

"The World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2016, which ranks the quality of education in 139 countries, placed South Africa 137th. Although its methodology has been criticised, other international assessments, such as the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study), have reported similar poor levels of educational achievement in South Africa."

Read more in this article in Mail and Guardian

Where are all the black teachers?

"It seems there's still a long way to go before the academic makeup of schools in South Africa is reflective of student bodies. A snap survey by the Sunday Times of state schools across the country, which charge annual fees of R36,000 and above, has revealed a startling lack of diversity among academic staff. Of 19 schools asked to participate in the survey, 10 responded and revealed that 80% of teachers at those schools are white. Jaco Deacon, national operations officer at the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools, isn't surprised."

Listen to the interview on Cape Talk

To promote success in schools, focus on teacher well-being

"Without question, teachers are central to student success. Anyone who has taught knows how rewarding it is to witness student learning. Teaching can also be one of the most stressful, demanding, and undersupported professions, leading to national teacher strikes, shortages, and high rates of turnover. In fact, research shows that 46% of teachers report high levels of daily stress, which affects their health, quality of life, and teaching performance, and costs U.S. schools billions of dollars each year."

Read more on Brookings.edu

Bad education: It starts with how we train teachers

"In a good system, a child in a rural poorer community and a child in a wealthier urban suburb should have an equally good teacher standing in front of them every day. But,  when we look at the data on how teachers are trained in South Africa, it is clear that our system still sets teachers up for failure long before they even enter the classroom – and in the process further disadvantages the children they teach."

Read more in the article on Daily Maverick

Are teachers ill-equipped to control classrooms?

"The landscape and environment of the classroom have changed with the new innovative methods being used and children appearing to be more outspoken than before.

Executive director of the National Professional Teachers Organisation (Naptosa) Basil Manuel joins CapeTalk host Abongile Nzelenzele to give insight into the teaching profession, why some teachers are losing control of classrooms, and whether the profession is under threat."

Listen to the interview on Eyewitness News

Survey reveals SA teachers 'emotionally overwhelmed'

"A recent report has revealed the extent to which teachers in South Africa are struggling to cope with the various demands put upon them in the classroom. Teachers were interviewed for The Human Factor Report: Do Teachers in South Africa Make the Grade? The report revealed that many teachers feel overwhelmed and often feel they must step into the role of a 'proxy parent'."

Listen to the interview on Cape Talk

Teacher development, partnerships are key to overcome the literacy crisis

"Now that the matric results have been released, the spotlight is on South Africa’s education and the performance of both the government and independent schooling systems.

Even as high pass rates, distinctions, and exemptions are celebrated, the question at hand is: Are the standards in South African schools rigorous and do they prepare South African children to compete with their peers internationally?"

Read more in TimesLive

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