SA needs local teachers

Mnyamezeli Ndevu, Joburg East District director of the Gauteng Department of Education.
Mnyamezeli Ndevu, Joburg East District director of the Gauteng Department of Education.

Mnyamezeli Ndevu said about 70 percent of students avoided practical maths in preference to maths literacy.

“The nation should find a way to entice [pupils] to this subject and the sciences as they are crucial to the national economic and scientific development required of a modern economy. Their fear of these subjects is also reflected in the lack of locally qualified teachers for these subjects resulting in the recruitment from neighbouring countries where, despite lower economic development, the countries still produce quality teachers,” Ndevu said.

This, he said, was regrettable in a province with four universities comprising the University of Johannesburg, the University of Pretoria, the University of Witswatersrand and Unisa, among many other countrywide institutions, including further education and training institutions, which should produce locally qualified teachers to match the needs of the schools and country.

Ndevu also challenged the nation to make the teaching profession desirable to children who, unlike in the past, are now exposed to many more financially rewarding professional opportunities.

“Education is the foundation for all professions and should be made to appeal to local students to avoid the nation recruiting from other countries, which also need their professional human resources. We run the danger of soon having the bulk of teachers comprising non-citizens.”

Ndevu urged for an education summit for stakeholders where this and other challenges to education would be discussed.

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