Pupils bear brunt of incompetent teachers

2013-05-06 09:17

Pupils are not taught to think, to solve problems or to read independently because most of their teachers do not know how to teach these skills.

The first national evaluation of how pupils in grades 1, 2 and 3 are taught showed that teaching was poor, that children’s ability to read was weak and that they were likely to struggle for the rest of their lives, The Times reported.

According to the newspaper, basic education department researchers assessed the three grades in 133 urban schools last year.

They found that many teachers did not know how to inculcate problem solving and analysis skills, and concluded that the “billions” of rands spent on teacher training and development in the past 10 years had failed to produce results in the classroom.

The department’s development unit head, Nick Taylor, reportedly said teachers’ poor subject knowledge was “arguably the fundamental problem in the school system”.

According to The Times, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said in releasing the report that the department was particularly concerned about pupils’ poor levels of reading, especially those in the first few years of schooling.

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