Indicator 14 of the Minister’s delivery agreement has the intention to increase the number of qualified teachers aged 30 and below entering the public service as teachers for the first time.
The profile of teachers in 2009 drawn from Persal indicates that 1.9% of the teaching force (±7,220 teachers) in public schools is in the age range of 60 years and above, 22% (±83,000 teachers) are in the age range of 50-59 years, and 43.5% (±163,590 teachers) are in the age range of 40-49 years. This implies that in 10-15 years, more than 90,000 teachers will exit the system through retirement, of which at least 10,000 will do so in about 5 years or less.
To ensure that the government is prepared to deal with this situation, concerted effort to attract younger people into teaching is required. One lever to increase the number of young people entering teaching is to provide bursaries for initial teacher education.
The Department of Basic Education is currently contributing to initial teacher education bursaries through the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme which currently funds about 25% of students enrolled for initial teacher education.