MEC vows to train more teachers in KZN

2013-06-10 00:00

KZN Education MEC Senzo Mchunu has applauded efforts by his department to train more teachers in an attempt to meet the teacher supply and demand in the province.

Delivering his budget speech last week, Mchunu said a memorandum of understanding with institutions of higher learning has led to an increase in the intake of student teachers from 1 589 in 2009 to 4 905 in 2013.

“In 2012, all four universities produced about 2 144 teachers, who have been placed in various schools in 2013,” he said.

Mchunu also said substantial increase in teacher enrolments through University of South Africa was being encouraged by KZN’s and Fundza Lushaka’s bursary schemes.

He wished the Fundza Lushaka bursary scheme could increase teacher enrolments in science and mathematics teachers.

“This is the area we have major challenges,” he said.

According to Mchunu, a partnership has been formed with the Turkish organisation Horizontal Educational Trust, to train science and mathematics student teachers at Turkish universities.

Mchunu also said a provincial teacher development institute has been established to be a centre of teacher development and in-service training workshops were offered at the provincial academy to improve the teachers’ knowledge in subjects they taught.

DA’s Tom Stokes said there had been some worthwhile attempts to address teacher skills and the in-house training was a good move.

“Unfortunately … the department just does not have the capacity to address the almost total lack of skills across our teaching crop,” Stokes said.

The IFP’s Mntomuhle Khawula said his party has always called for the re-opening of teacher training colleges, but it has learnt that the recently revamped uMzimkhulu College was being taken over by the national department.

“We, however, wonder how a decision to spend money intended for district office relocation ended up preparing for a yet to be taken decision of a national department,” Khawula said.

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