News clipping – Sunday Tribune – 10 October 2010
We want you to teach: department
The national education department is seeking to secure international funding to support local university teacher programmes, particularly those focused on teaching grades 1 to 3. This comes as changes to the foundation phase, grades 1 to 3, are to be implemented next year to improve numeracy and literacy.
Director of teacher education in the Department of Higher Education and Training, Whitfield Green, said the programme was in its infancy, but was aimed at strengthening initial teacher education programmes.
The initiative is one of many aimed at stopping the outflow of teachers from the profession annually. South Africa each year loses 16 000 teachers, of which 4 000 are based in KwaZulu-Natal. The reasons range from resignation to retirement, death or termination. Last year there were 368 587 public school teachers and 24 577 private school teachers.
However, just over 7 500 teachers are expected to graduate this year – despite efforts by the department to boost enrolment in teaching courses. In 2008 5 939 teachers graduated across the country.
Of the 23 universities in South Africa, 21 offer initial teacher education programmes, including the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Attracting students to enter the teacher profession was a priority, he said.
By Charmel Bowman