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  • 83% of learners have an African home language, but only 13% of foundation phase new teacher graduates had an African home language
  • Home languages of learners in 2007:
    • 10% Afrikaans
    • 7% English
    • 83% African languages
  • Home languages of foundation phase new graduate teachers in 2009:
    • 44% Afrikaans
    • 43% English
    • 13% African languages (majority were isiZulu speakers)
  • For the period 2013 to 2017 too many secondary school teachers and far too few higher primary school teachers produced.
    • 60 per cent of teachers graduated as secondary school teachers, while the system needs only some 15 per cent.
    • 36 per cent of teachers will graduated as primary school teachers, even though the system requires around 85 per cent
  • In 2013 percentages of qualified teachers:
    • 66 per cent, had an Matric +3 qualification –
    • only 15 per cent had an Matric +4, the current official requirement for NTGs –
    • the remaining 19 per cent were unqualified.

Read more: Teachers in SA: Supply and Demand 2013-2025

There are‚ according to a 2016 statistical study released by the education department‚ about 435‚000 teachers across the country.

In the response to the DA‚ the department’s revealed that‚ in 2016:

  • KZN had 2‚875 unqualified or under-qualified teachers last year‚ 57% of the total number of such teachers across the country;
  • The Northern Cape had the second most‚ with 400 teachers; and
  • Limpopo was best off‚ with just 15 teachers.

Read more in the article on TimesLive



"Initial teacher education is highly variable but generally insufficient. For example, a study found that three out of five of the Higher Education Institutions that were sampled provided no English language, literature, or linguistic education for teacher trainees not specializing in this subject, despite poor English language proficiency among teacher trainees being a ubiquitous concern."

Read more: Understanding the teaching crisis facing South Africa

The “single most important factor influencing the quality of education is the quality of teachers, and that quality of teaching and learning cannot rise above the ceiling imposed by low teacher capacity.” Therefore the “cause of poor teaching lies not with teachers but with the teacher education system that produced them.”

Read more: “Transformative teacher education in a time of crisis”: Inaugural Lecture given by Professor Di...

"Research shows that Teacher Professional Standards (TPS) can be applied to individuals, programmes or institutions and they are not necessarily the same in different countries. However, the basic framework and intentions are consistent worldwide. Those countries that use TPS have drawn up a set of guidelines for teaching standards, as well a set of standards for personal and professional conduct. The need for such a basic framework in South Africa is clear and broadly recognised."

Read more: Teacher professional standards: The road to better performance, development and accountability