The Department of Basic Education (DBE), in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training have been working tirelessly to ensure a consistent supply of teachers in the country, especially for subject areas such as Mathematics, Physical Science and Technology, as well as the Foundation Phase.
The Director for Initial Education, Mr Gerrit Coetzee, stated that, “currently the two sectors observed an enrolment figure of 137, 731 young people studying towards the teaching profession in South Africa. These sectors have contributed more than 25, 334 graduate educators within the basic education sector to date. The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme remains an attractive option for aspirant teachers. In 2018, more than 74, 748 applications were received. Eventually, 13, 700 bursaries were granted to young people across all nine provinces, who are currently studying towards a degree in Education at the various institutions of higher learning. The DBE also observed progress in terms of bridging the gender equity gap in the teaching profession as 8, 633 females - as opposed to 5, 066 males - were awarded bursaries in 2018”.
He further alluded to the fact that the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme is one of the initiatives contributing to the strengthening of quality learning and teaching in the Foundation Phase with an increased trend of young female educators being recruited. In 2018, more than 3, 073 bursaries were awarded to female applicants who wanted to serve as Foundation Phase teachers in public schools. The sector must also be commended for its commitment to securing placements for graduate educators in various schools nationally. During the 2018 placement cycle, the DBE placed more than 1, 512 educators, specialising in Mathematics, Physical Science, Technical Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy.