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EDUCATION: Graduating Teachers on the Rise, But Still Too Few

 





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The number of students registering for teaching qualifications has increased significantly, according to the latest South Africa Survey, to be published next week by the South African Institute of Race Relations in Johannesburg.

In 2005 there were 6 289 first-time students registered for a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree. This jumped to 9 082 in 2008, an increase of 44%. Over the same period the number of first-time registrations for a post-graduate certificate in education (PGCE) rose from 3 860 to 4 971. This was an increase of 29%.

The number of graduates with these qualifications also went up in this period, according to the Department of Education. The number of B Ed graduates rose from 3 590 in 2005 to 3 669 in 2008, an increase of only 2%. The number of PGCE graduates rose from 1 171 in 2005 to 1 942, an increase of 66%.

Despite these increases, in 2008, the latest year for which the Survey has figures, 15% of teaching posts in government schools were unfilled. Of the 433 280 available positions, some 62 616 were unstaffed. In 2009 there were only 29 809 teaching appointments made. It is clear that although there has been a substantial increase in the number of students graduating with teaching qualifications, that number is still far short of what is required. A researcher at the Institute, Marius Roodt, said: ‘The increase in the number of students enrolling for, and graduating with, teaching qualifications is encouraging, but the numbers are still far too low. In the short-term the Government should look to importing teachers from abroad. However, this is not a sustainable solution. Students should be encouraged by the Government to enter the teaching profession, and it should work at ensuring that teachers do not leave the profession, or emigrate.’


 
 
 
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