Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / Speeches RSS ← Back

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Sponsored by


Article Enquiry

SA: Address by Deputy President Shipokosa Paulus Mashatile at the 14th Policy Dialogue Forum of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, Johannesburg (26/02/2024)


Embed Video

SA: Address by Deputy President Shipokosa Paulus Mashatile at the 14th Policy Dialogue Forum of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, Johannesburg (26/02/2024)

Deputy President Paul Mashatile
Deputy President Paul Mashatile

27th February 2024


Font size: -+

Minister of Basic Education in the Republic of South Africa, Mrs Angie Matsie Motshekga;
Deputy Minister of Basic Education in the Republic of South Africa, Dr Reginah Makgabo Mhaule;
UNESCO Assistant Director General, Ms Stefania Giannini;
Deputy Minister of Education from Ghana, Mr John Ntin Fordjour;
Deputy Minister of Education from Ecuador, Ms Nancy Lorena Morocho Quimbiulco;
African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Mohammed Belhocine;
Ambassador of Finland to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, and Mauritius, Ms Anne Lammila;
Vice President of Education International Africa Region, Mr Mugwena Maluleka;
Director General of Basic Education in the Republic of South Africa, Mr Mathanzima Mweli;
Leaders of various teacher unions and all education stakeholders;
Distinguished guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good morning to all esteemed guests and participants of the 14th policy dialogue forum of the International Task Force of Teachers for Education 2030, who have travelled from every corner of the globe to be here today.

Welcome to South Africa! We invite you to explore and savour the wonders of Gauteng, a province renowned for its rich political heritage and adorned with gold.


Let me start by taking you back. Some of you might recall that in September 2022, our Minister of Basic Education, Ms Angie Motshekga, was requested to serve on a high-level panel convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Gutterres, on the recommendation of the International Teacher Task Force for Education 2030.

In June 2023, the UN Secretary-General established the High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession (HLP) as a follow-up to the 2022 Transforming Education Summit (TES).

Little did we know that the 14th International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 (TTF) Policy Dialogue Forum will be hosted by South Africa in 2024 under the theme “Addressing global teacher shortages: dignifying, diversifying, and valorizing the profession.”

Let me thank the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 for recognising South Africa as a key player in the journey to achieving quality education for all by the year 2030.

As South Africa, we feel privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to co-chair the steering committee of the Teacher Task Force in collaboration with Germany.

Furthermore, the dedication of the Teacher Task Force to raising awareness, expanding knowledge, and supporting countries on the questions and themes raised in Target 4.c of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4).

South Africa welcomes the theme of this policy dialogue and is hoping to learn from the good practices that will be shared at this forum. As we gather here today, we are faced with a stark reality: a shortage of qualified and motivated teachers across the globe.

This shortage not only jeopardises the quality of education but also undermines our collective efforts to achieve the SDG4 goal of inclusive and equitable quality education for all.

Instead of disregarding the situation and continuing as if everything is going according to plan, we need to acknowledge the problem and devise a solution that is both effective and efficient.

We need to acknowledge the inherent worth of teachers and the crucial role they play in shaping the future of our nations. Beside teaching and imparting knowledge to the future generation, teachers play a crucial role in nurturing, fostering critical thinking, inspiring dreams, and pushing the limits of human potential.

We thus owe it to these titans of our society to recognise, honour, empower, and value them as well as the job that they do. Most importantly, significant consideration must be made on how we should improve their working conditions and remuneration as a way of appreciating their hard work, so that they can be able to fulfil their important task without getting discouraged.

Additionally, it is critical that we never lose sight of the fact that we are currently living in a digital age, and we must also ensure that our educators can effectively utilise new technologies to remain relevant and efficient in the current digital age.

Ladies and gentlemen,

To increase participation in this profession, we should provide competitive compensation and recognise teachers' achievements. This may be achieved by creating a culture that promotes excellence and creativity, as well as cultivating a sense of pride and purpose among educators.

We have to do whatever it takes to attract young people with bright minds to this profession and address the issue of teacher shortages. As we gather here at this conference, we anticipate that the six outcomes of the 2024 Policy Dialogue Forum will present opportunities for improvement, develop insights and policy recommendations, and strengthen methods of addressing teacher shortages.

We also welcome the High Level Panel Report as well as the launch of the Global Report on teacher shortages. South Africa is optimistic that this Policy Dialogue Forum will untangle solutions for addressing the contents of the report.

In the context of South Africa, which is not unique to other countries, this is instigated by a mismatch between the demands for critical subjects as opposed to the university's supply. More teachers are produced for the Further Education and Training (FET) Band than for the General Education and Training Band.

This situation has necessitated the FET Band teachers to migrate to the Senior Phase and teach Grades 7 and 8 classes. Hence, we have teachers who are teaching out of phase or grades.

Such challenges, as well coined by the intended outcome, “Identify and diagnose some of the major issues and challenges that lead to teacher shortages, to include perspectives from countries from different regions and with different income levels, as well as providing a focus on equity and emergencies or crises”.

To achieve the above, the following measures have been put in place by education planners:

a) Development and use of tools such as an Education Management Information System (EMIS) to help planners better understand issues of supply and demand for teachers;

b) Development of strategies to attract more teachers into the profession; In this regard, in South Africa we have the Fundza-Lushaka Bursary Scheme to attract young teachers into the teaching profession based on the needs identified in terms of the EMIS system.

c) Improve teacher salaries and working conditions;

d) Use contracted teachers to deal with immediate needs, although a longer-term approach is necessary to address shortages. South Africa has enacted laws such as the Labour Relations Act that guarantee employee rights and privileges as accorded in the constitution. These enable teachers to belong to trade unions and have access to organisational rights. The law also makes provision for the creation of structures such as bargaining councils, where teachers are engaged on an ongoing basis through their unions on how to improve their salaries and working conditions.

We must also improve teacher professionalism by expanding opportunities for teachers professional development, and the use of more collaborative approaches, such as peer mentoring and support.

We have established a Professional Council for Teachers (SACE) and enacted it in legislation. The Council has a legislative responsibility to keep a register of all aspiring and practising teachers, to manage a system of continuing teacher professional development, as well as to develop and manage a code of professional ethics.

SACE is therefore leading the professionalisation agenda in collaboration with the Ministry and other key stakeholders.

It is also important to include teachers in decision-making across all levels of the system. Giving teachers more voice will improve their confidence and motivation, which will in turn improve their performance.

Expanding opportunities for teacher upward mobility and career-pathing, and ensuring a more equitable distribution of teachers, taking into account rural and urban disparities, different socio-economic backgrounds, and gender disparities is essential.

For example, we are prioritising new graduates from the Fundza Lushaka Bursary Scheme to deploy them in vacancies across the country. Areas struggling to recruit qualified teachers benefit from these newly qualified teachers, thereby addressing issues of equity. Incentives are also implemented to retain these teachers in hard-to-teach areas.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

South Africa is dedicated to the UNESCO programme and the African Union Agenda 2063 by prioritising quality training over addressing quantitative shortages for prospective teachers. This is achieved through the efforts of the 24 public universities and the Department of Higher Education and Training.

To tackle the worldwide shortage of teachers, a comprehensive strategy is needed that focuses on improving, diversifying, and embracing the teaching profession.

Let us commit to working together to create a safe and inclusive learning environment for young children, while also recognising the important role played by our teachers.

As policymakers and leaders, it is our responsibility to attract and retain exceptional educators. I also believe that a key component of any effective educational system is the ability to recruit and maintain a workforce of highly qualified teachers.

Again, let me reiterate my gratitude to the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 through UNESCO for co-hosting the 14 Policy Dialogue Forum.

As the public sector, we are looking forward to the discussions on investigating common challenges leading to teacher shortages; tackling shortages with strategic policies related to recruitment, training, and retention; and exploring future transformative strategies to validate and reinforce teaching as a profession to reduce global teacher shortages.

I have high hopes that by the time this conference is over, we will have developed a more effective method and strategy that will get us closer to achieving our Sustainable Development Goal 4 of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

I thank you.


To subscribe email or click here
To advertise email or click here

Comment Guidelines

About is a product of Creamer Media.

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more


We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store


Advertising on is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now