DA: How to improve teacher quality

2012-11-01 15:25

Cape Town - The DA proposed a number of steps on Thursday to improve the quality of school teachers.

Among other things, student teachers should be aggressively recruited from high-demand and rural areas where they would subsequently be placed, Democratic Alliance spokesperson Annette Lovemore told reporters.

This would alleviate the problem of graduates citing personal difficulties in relocating to the rural areas where they were often most needed, she said.

The basic education department should also create an in-house selection and monitoring team to vigorously screen applications for the department’s primary teacher-attraction tool, the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme.

Currently the composition of the selection team was ad hoc and dependent on institutions.

Industry tools

Lovemore said a departmental team should take primary responsibility for assessing candidates and should use industry tools, such as psychometric testing, to assist in selections.

The department also had to assess and accredit quality tertiary institutions to train bursars. Bursars should be sent exclusively to these accredited institutions.

The in-house selection and monitoring team should track the academic results of all bursars to determine and facilitate academic assistance and interventions where necessary.

The current placement strategy also failed to place all bursary graduates, even as the vacancy rate continued to climb.

This was because of the administrative difficulties associated with placing thousands of graduates in the short space of time between their graduation and the start of the new school year.

The department should co-operate with provincial education departments to fill teacher vacancies as part of the post provisioning process that occurred at the end of every year, which would allow for placement in advance.

Lovemore said a significant problem was that the Funza Lushaka programme was failing.

Poor planning

Every year about 10 000 bursaries were awarded and recipients were then required to teach at a public school for the same number of years for which they received the bursary.

"Poor planning has seen this resource fundamentally under-utilised. Very few of the bursars graduate timeously and even fewer actually become teachers," she said.

In 2012, only 26.5% of the graduated bursars were actually placed as teachers at public schools. This year the department expected only 2837 students to qualify, some 31% of the intake four years previously.

Lovemore said she would ask to meet Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to discuss the DA's proposals.

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-01 15:44

    Get the ANC out of power!!!

      jono.qmann - 2012-11-01 16:01

      agreed and also parents should also take a little bit of responsibility! only so much can be done in class, its out of class were the hard work needs to be put in!

      khuliso.ratshinanga - 2012-11-01 16:34

      maybe after 100 years

      surfing.sam.9 - 2012-11-01 18:38

      khuliso, that could unfortunately be true, there is still a lot of blind sheep who likes it when government steals from them, they are just to stupid to see it. I see dumb people, they are everywhere.

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-11-01 23:55

      Teaching is a vocation, not a job.

  • Andrea - 2012-11-01 15:44

    "The basic education department should also create an in-house selection and monitoring team" - not a good idea. This article lost me round about the middle section when I realised the DA is expecting the education dept to wek, and they don't like doing that.

      fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-11-01 16:36

      Indeed - dese wekas don like meths or wek, only sliep

      jontheb - 2012-11-01 19:17

      Education (at least with regard to managing teachers within white schools) was one thing the apartheid government got right. Rather than trying to implement their strategy equally (an expensive task, granted) - the ANC threw out the baby with the bath water. Gone suddenly were the school and teaching inspectors, gone were decent salaries and benefits for teachers - all replaced by lofty ideals backed up by a house of cards! The solution is really simple: Restore the decent salaries and benefits (the job must be lucrative) - then bring back school and teaching inspectors to hold them to account. It'll be an expensive venture (maybe let SARS manage the financial side of things), but it could be managed if we got rid of the corruption and nepotism that's bleeding our country dry instead of building it up!

      jo.vankatwijk - 2012-11-01 21:15

      @jontheb Teachers salaries were never decent, not even under the NATS. Bring back the training colleges where students used to do lots of prac teaching in schools. That way the student would quickly find out if he/she was suited to the job. The inspectors are still around, at least at the schools where I taught. I studied for 3 years on a student loan and repaid it by staying in teaching for at least 3 years. I didn't have to pay back in monetary terms, only in service. I taught for many years until my retirement.

  • carpejugulim - 2012-11-01 15:51

    There are retired teachers living in or close to rural and semi rural areas that would willingly go back to teaching thus providing good education and fantastic mentors for newly graduated teachers

      blip.noodlum - 2012-11-01 20:36

      Why would a retiree want to do that?

      jo.vankatwijk - 2012-11-01 21:16

      No way, thank you. I've done my share for the country and now deserve my retirement.

  • willem.v.hoven - 2012-11-01 16:04

    As a teacher,I have to complete so many forms to prove that I am teaching that I have no time to teach anymore

      jo.vankatwijk - 2012-11-01 21:18

      A teacher today spends more time completing ridiculous forms than actual teaching in the classroom, I agree.

  • p.borchard - 2012-11-01 16:07

    "Poor planning has seen this resource fundamentally under-utilised. Very few of the bursars graduate timeously and even fewer actually become teachers," Planning + ANC = the biggest oximoron in South Africa. What happens to the bursary money that the students who don't become teachers are supposed to 'work back'? Most likely the same as the money that was involved in the Travelgate farce - written off. It is way too easy to get into varsity with our patheticly low entry requirements.

  • art5SA - 2012-11-01 16:12

    Just employ COMPETENT teachers... Simple as that!

  • wvmerwe - 2012-11-01 16:13

    I really believe technology needs to be used more to improve our education system. Why are we even printing text books still? Why can videos of lectures not be used in rural areas?

      Billy - 2012-11-01 18:02

      Kindles retail for about R1500, they can use that their entire time in school. text/library books in data form. maybe a deposit would be needed upon entering the school.. or of sorts

      jo.vankatwijk - 2012-11-01 21:20

      I disagree. Nothing can replace a good, competent teacher in a classroom. Maybe at tertiary level this could work.

  • billy.debeila - 2012-11-01 16:14

    This DA plan is no plan at all. I was hoping that they will put forward something very substantive. The guy has obviously not read the Intergarted Strategic Framework for Teacher Education and Development in SA. it covers the few issues he raised.

      tsietsi.mshengu - 2012-11-01 16:30

      So why are they not acting on it? Same old story: inability to implement.

      danita.renecle - 2012-11-01 18:54

      Google "WCED 2012 media releases" (Western Cape Education Department. You can scroll down and read the 2011 , 2010, 2009 media releases as well. What they have put in place for the poor performing schools are Telematics an interactive satellite teaching method , set up maths science and technology hubs, the Principals and deputies have signed performance contracts and they assist schools using retired teachers. The holidays are packed with Teacher training seminars etc. Step by step they are making a difference. check it out for yourself

  • Gaby - 2012-11-01 16:15

    Sorry but you will have to sue them before you can get the education dept. to do their jobs.

  • thifulufhelwi.masala - 2012-11-01 16:17

    Now you are talking madam instead of jst crying without sugestions.

      TSR01 - 2012-11-01 21:21

      The DA always had the right plans, but they never shared them, because the ANC would just try to steal it and claim it was their own idea!!!! Also, Zille never cried about planning, unlike ZUMA and MALEMA, you blithering twit.

  • phaldiemeyer - 2012-11-01 16:19

    The funza bursary should be awarded on merit and even if u had it last year and if you average a 65% pass, you should only get 65% of the bursary amount. We can't keep on rewarding mediocrity, if you want full bursary you must average 75% and upwards.

  • peter.ballie.5 - 2012-11-01 16:23

    Good common sense as usual from the DA.

      Tibeland - 2012-11-01 16:28

      Cut down paper work and let teachers do their job

      TSR01 - 2012-11-01 21:23

      Let the under-qualified, ill-placed teachers keep struggling to provide an education where it is not possible for so many (ever-increasing pupils) without any progressive planning or strategic implementations to improve teachers' positions?? You need to go back to school, Tibeland!!!

      art5SA - 2012-11-03 04:53

      CUT OUT THE UNIONS and let Teachers do their jobs!

  • bcluley - 2012-11-01 16:30

    Easy solution.before people are selected to study education they first need to pass a battery of aptitude tests to first see if those candidates posses the qualities to teach our future. There is no screening and no backdround tests. Our government is failing us. People should not be scared of governments, rather govermnents should be scared of the poeple

      fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-11-01 16:37

      They need to pass matrick with the same grade levels that are expected from medical students, vets, engineers

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-11-01 16:47

    Teaching is no longer a passion/career, it has become a 'well paid' job with masses of holidays.

      ryan.h.esau - 2012-11-01 18:29

      Well paid. Those striking miners with only grade 4 get paid more then teachers.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-01 20:41

      @ryan, well from I have seen in my region, the teachers, (forgive me here) do not deserve to be paid. They come pouring into my office, during school time, and we have to fax to their insurance agents, family, banks etc. they sit and have tea, discuiss the 'chain stores,' hair dressers etc....where is the work ethic?

      Mandlenkosi Manqele - 2012-11-01 21:06

      yaya, dont you know that silence is the best substitute for brains !

      jo.vankatwijk - 2012-11-01 21:23

      I guess you're not a teacher, nor perhaps a parent. Well-paid, my @ss.

  • anthonie.vanbosch - 2012-11-01 16:53

    Education must be good in the sense that whatever one is studying; the teacher giving it is well equipped to deal with the subject matter. South Africa has a lack of artisans at the moment and we need to address this issue as well. Education must therefore combine with commons sense all around and current and future job demand information for the pupils and their parents. That is why all schools need good Teacher Guidance Officers; otherwise you will have too much accountant’s etceteras. AA & BEE should also be explained to pupils and their parents in making career decisions.

  • anthonie.vanbosch - 2012-11-01 16:57

    Attending school should be on the same principles some countries have national military service making it an offence not to attend. If a child has no parents or no responsible and caring parents, then the state should see to it that this child attend school as its primary guardian until he or she pass grade 12. A responsible caring State will do this. I cannot believe that the Census has shown that less than a third of adults in this Country has obtained grade 12. This is almost mind-boggling but explains the third world perception of South Africa! The State must act now on this and make Education now for once and all a national Priority so that we can move towards First World Objectives!

  • khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2012-11-01 17:00

    DA the problem is realy not recruiting teachers but retaining them. Any wise suggestions?

      Billy - 2012-11-01 18:13

      you should be asking the teachers

      TSR01 - 2012-11-01 21:28

      khethu.ndlovu.3, try voting for the DA then you will see them answer and act on all your relevant questions. Watch this space! :)

  • piero.mendace.5 - 2012-11-01 18:08

    Bring back corporal punishment and respect and maybe we will encourage teaching again. As long as we have precocious beats in school who will want to teach?

  • justin.frittelli - 2012-11-01 18:27

    Fire the education minister! The DA spends vast amount of time protesting about freedom of expression and the youth wage subsidy etc, but we get these timid responses to the single biggest problem facing this country. If we do not get education right and get it right very quickly, the future we face is bleak. Appoint Prof Jansen to this position, he will revolutionize our education system!!

      clive.kihn - 2012-11-01 18:38

      Hear hear, Justin!

  • donald.perumal - 2012-11-01 18:59

    Hi All The recruitment and training of teachers in SA must be informed by current challenges in Education.The issue of rural students being involved in these programmes is essential BUT Colleges need to rise to the challenges of training for these areas.

  • estie.spies - 2012-11-01 20:41

    I am a white, 22year old female student studying b.ed through UNISA. I applied for the Funza Bursary two years in a row. Both times I received an sms to say I was unsuccessful. I am starting my 3rd year in January. I passed all my modules with distinctions up to now.I am struggling to pay for my studies. I work 60 hours a week and study in the evenings. So why don't I receive a bursary? If so many of these students fail and don't become teachers? This program is obviously ONE BIG MESS!!!!!!!

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