Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, marked World Teachers’ Day and the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on 1 October 2019, at UNISA by paying tribute to teachers: “Today is a special occasion to celebrate the teaching profession, to take stock of our achievements, and to address some of the issues central for attracting and retaining the brightest minds and young talents in the profession.” Minister Motshekga added that SA teachers are committed and qualified and work beyond the call of duty as evidenced in the recent teaching and learning international survey, TALIS 2018 Report: “Our teachers work in unfavourable conditions generated by environmental factors such as the prevalence of crime, poverty and the burden of diseases”.
“We have greatly improved the quality of our teachers. During 1994, only 54 percent of African teachers were qualified, but today, out of over 410,000 teachers, only a statistically insignificant number are still completing their qualifications. Nationally, the supply of newly qualified teachers has grown from 5,939 in 2008 to 25,877 in 2017. South Africa, will be able to produce sufficient teachers for the next decade, from 2015 to 2025 to maintain the current learner to educator ratio of 29.2 learners to 1 teacher in response to the emerging areas of specialisation during the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
The focus areas will include training for Early Childhood Development (ECD), digital learning, focus schools and the Three Stream Model curriculum. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) will continue to empower and equip teachers with the skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world, whilst focusing on foundational skills such as reading, literacy and Mathematics.
In conclusion, Minister Motshekga mentioned that the Quality Management System (QMS) for School-Based educators has been signed to provide a standardised framework for teachers’ performance and to improve accountability levels in schools.