SA producing badly trained teachers

2014-09-07 11:04

South African universities and colleges are producing badly trained teachers who struggle to meet the demands of the country’s school curriculums.

A report released last month by the Joint Education Trust (Jet) Education Services, an education think-tank, said this was partly why pupils fell two classes behind in reading and maths by the time they reached Grade 5.

The research seems to corroborate the basic education department’s own research, which found last year that pupils in grades 3, 6 and 9 “can’t read” and are not able to solve basic arithmetic problems.

Last year, research by Nic Spaull of Stellenbosch University found that by the time pupils reached grades  10 and 11, their reading and maths skills were so bad they could not catch up.

Jet’s Initial Teacher Education Research Project is a multiyear project aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the Bachelor of Education degree and postgraduate certificate in education in five unnamed universities across the country.

The first phase involved auditing the five universities’ maths and English education courses that are designed for the intermediate phase from grades 4 to 6.

The research found that entrance requirements for teaching courses were low compared with other disciplines.

Researchers also lamented the closure of teacher education training colleges in the late 1990s.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga told a radio station this week that closing these colleges was a “mistake”.

» Get City Press newspaper for more on what the research found

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