South Africa’s former president and political icon, Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world”.
Irrespective of the present state of the country’s economy, government has taken another commendable step towards raising young boys and girls to love and cherish education- especially the most dreaded subject Mathematics.
Some time ago, we brought you a report about the Department of Basic Education’s partnership with NGO Teach SA to deploy maths teachers to school in the country. We told you that after the two organizations signed the MoU, the NGO dived into action, visiting tertiary institutions in order to recruit willing science teachers.
On a happy note, the NGO has revealed that close to 100 science teachers have been dispatched to various schools across the country, including the newly opened special school in Soweto.
Science Teachers Deployed To Schools
According to Teach SA executive director Richard Masemola, the organisation has placed 97 mathematics graduates to teach at schools across the country.
In addition, Masemola stated that six of these graduates were placed at Curtis Nkondo School of Specialization in Emndeni, Soweto, which was launched by education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Monday.
Masemola also said although having mathematics teachers in most schools in the country has been a big challenge, the situation is worst in Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.
“Just last week my team was in the area of Nongomo, Dundee and Mtubantuba [in kwaZulu-Natal], where many teachers don’t want to stay. Those communities are suffering, every year they lose a teacher, even the locals do not teach in those schools.”
“It takes three to four years to train a teacher, so if the department does not work with organisations such as Teach SA, it’s very difficult to deal with the attrition rate because if a teacher resigns today you need to have a teacher tomorrow in the classroom. Therefore it is very difficult to respond with that kind of speed which is required,” he said.
Teach SA recruits mathematics graduates from universities across the country, including engineers, accountants and actuarial scientists.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Angie Motshekga has announced that the mathematics, science and technology grant increased from R1-billion last year to R1.156-billion this year.
According to the minister, the grant is meant to increase the number of pupils studying the subjects and foster their success rate.
Last year, Motshekga told Parliament that one in four schools did not offer maths in grades 10, 11 and 12 because of teacher shortages and a low pupil enrollment.
Speaking also, the department’s spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga asserted that the need for maths teachers in the country is on the high side presently because most schools have no maths teachers.