Minister told of unqualified Maths and Science teachers

2010-07-08 14:32

Many KwaZulu-Natal matric pupils are being taught mathematics and

science by teachers who only have a matric qualification, Basic Education

Minister Angie Motshekga has been told.

Some of the province’s education districts also do not have crucial

subject advisors, Motshekga has been told today by teachers at the University of


She also heard that the lack of properly trained teachers

contributed immensely to the poor performance of matriculants.

The gathering was attended by scores of teachers of maths, science

and English from schools that performed badly in last year’s matric


Motshekga said: “I will engage with education MEC (Senzo Mchunu)

about the issue of subject advisors and teachers who don’t have qualifications.

I know the problem of subject advisors is everywhere.”

Motshekga said her department was aware of the dire shortage of

trained teachers, saying that South Africa had reached a crisis.

The government had asked retired teachers to come back to the

profession to help to deal with the shortage.

“We have a problem because most of the retired teachers are very


“We don’t want to take people who are too old,” she said.

Although she admitted that universities were not producing enough

teachers, Motshekga said the government was not considering re-opening teacher

training colleges which were closed down a few years ago.

During election campaigns in 2008, President Jacob Zuma called for

the re-opening of colleges to deal with the teacher shortage.

But Motshekga on Thursday said she preferred universities because

of their world-class standards.

“Colleges had a problem with the issue of quality. Universities

make you comfortable because the quality control part is world standard,” she


Moses Kotane Institute CEO, Professor Albert Modi said schools

should not be dumping grounds for people who could not get other jobs.

The institute was established to improve maths, science and English

in schools.

Modi said: “We have pupils who pass maths and science with flying

colours but they fail dismally when they go to the universities because schools

do not have labs.”

He said the lack of laboratories meant pupils were taught to

memorise science when they should be doing practical work.

Modi urged the government to buy mobile science and biology

laboratories which cost R40 000 each.

“I think these labs are a solution because it cost more than

R2 million to build a normal lab,” he said.

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