DA calls unqualified mass of teachers an infringement of child rights

2014-03-21 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL still has the highest number of unqualified and under-qualified teachers at schools.

According to DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Annette Lovemore, there are 10 725 unqualified and under-qualified teachers employed in public schools in 2013, with numbers in KZN topping the list.

Lovemore said this was revealed in response to a DA parliamentary question.

According to the Department of Basic Education’s response, there are 316 unqualified and 6 586 under-qualified teachers standing in front of pupils in classrooms daily. In the department’s defence, they said there are programmes in place to see that all teachers hold a suitable qualification. The department said unqualified graduates are encouraged to pursue their Post Graduate Certificate in Education, while teachers who without qualifications are have opportunities to study a Bachelor Degree in Education either part-time or full-time.

However, the department said there was no time frame for these teachers to complete their qualification. In addition, they said 85% of these teachers were appointed on a temporary basis.

Lovemore criticised the department for not having information on the number of unqualified and underqualified teachers per subject. “This basically means that the department has no idea of the number of unqualified and under-qualified teachers that are teaching technical subjects such as Maths, Science and Technology — subjects in which learners are performing poorly, and subjects for which rural schools, in particular, are struggling to attract teachers”.

The DA has called this the “a blatant infringement of that child’s right to a basic education”.

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