Photo by: Reuters
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Monday welcomed a report released by the Centre for Development and Enterprises (CDE) which highlights loopholes in the teaching profession.
The report titled ‘Teacher Professional Standards for South Africa: The road to better performance, development and accountability?’ seeks to strengthen accountability, professional development and effectiveness in teaching.
The report is based on commissioned research on the development of Teacher Professional Standards in a range of developed and developing countries.
Motshekga said there was a need for a “balancing factor” relating to the standards that educators had to uphold.
“The extent to which we strengthen accountability in the teaching profession is important in ensuring professional standards in the teaching profession. We are focussing our attention on teacher education and also guiding new teachers who are joining the system,” she said.
Chairperson for the National Education Collaboration Trust Sizwe Nxasana said the South African Council for Educators needed to be strengthened as a standard accreditation body so that it could deal with issues pertaining to the standards for the teaching profession, which he referred to as “quirky”.
CDE executive director Anne Bernstein said South African education was in crisis.
“We can’t do the same thing and expect better results. Statistics of young unemployed youth are on the rise. Until we make significant progress for millions of poor people, it’s safe to say that South Africa today is not a good place for young people,” she declared.
The report revealed that a lack of accountability in the education system was a binding constraint on improving the quality of education in the country.
The research showed that South Africa’s teaching corp include teachers who won’t do what they are required, as well as those who can’t do what is required, owing to inadequate training and professional development.
The report suggested that all teachers be held accountable for meeting basic job requirements, and that they uphold professional conduct norms and comply with regulations and added that where teachers lacked, they must be supported and professionally developed to improve their teaching.
Former National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa president Dr Anthea Cereseto said educators were used as scapegoats when problems arose.
“We want them to work on their profession. We need progress and people who are going to lead teachers. I have yet to come across any programme which supports teachers. I am concerned by the lack of capacity. We need to talk more to teachers,” she said.
Click here to read the report.