Basic Education partners with Teach South Africa to deploy maths teachers nationwide
The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angie Motshekga has highlighted the importance of offering mathematics in all schools, however, a shortage of qualified mathematics teachers in the system has been a challenge. In a bid to address this, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with TEACH South Africa to place “TEACH Ambassadors” in schools that do not have qualified mathematics teachers. This forms part of the DBE’s national strategy to address the shortage of mathematics teachers, as well as ensuring the promotion of mathematics as a subject necessary for the growth of the South African economy.
TEACH South Africa recruits and selects top performing young graduates in the field of Mathematics, Science and English from universities across the country and places them in disadvantaged and rural schools for a minimum period of two years. TEACH South Africa is committed to providing a platform for young graduates, who have excelled academically, who have demonstrated leadership skills and are committed to giving back to their communities through teaching.
Since its inception in 2009, TEACH South Africa has placed 382 TEACH Ambassadors in eight Provinces and in 228 schools impacting about 25 000 learners. To date, 57% of TEACH Ambassadors; remain in the teaching profession, thereby increasing the pool of teachers in these scarce skills. In this partnership the TEACH Ambassadors will be placed in schools that are located mostly in rural areas where it is often difficult to attract qualified mathematics teachers. TEACH South Africa will provide on-going support to the TEACH Ambassadors throughout the two years.
“This large placement enables us to achieve a greater impact across the country. We are proud to partner with the Department of Basic Education to improve the quality of education for children irrespective of their economic background by increasing the pool of quality mathematics teachers in South Africa. School districts in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo had the lowest number of students who passed matric in 2015, we applaud Minister Motshekga for addressing this by ensuring quality mathematics teachers are placed specifically in these areas,” says TEACH South Africa Executive Director Richard Masemola.
He says his organisation has recruited and selected graduates from the finest South African Universities who are not only top achievers but who are committed to being Change Agents in South Africa.
“In order to build a prosperous, equitable and competitive South Africa, we must invest in high quality education. This is aligned with the goals of the National Development Plan for Education, Training and Innovation,” says Dr. Futhi Mtoba, TEACH South Africa President and Co-Founder.
Minister Motshekga has welcomed the implementation of this initiative as an important step in the right direction. “We need to continue to work with our partners in civil society to ensure that we begin to see improvements, not only the numbers of learners who take up mathematics as a subject, but we also want learners to come back into the system as qualified mathematics teachers one day. We come from a past where not all learners have had the opportunity to take mathematics as a subject in school, hence the shortage of qualified mathematics teachers today. We need to work hard to ensure that all learners, no matter their social-economic background have every opportunity available to take up careers of their choice without any limitations,” said Minister Motshekga.
TEACH South Africa recruitment team is currently visiting universities around the country and calls on all young graduate leaders who are passionate about developing South Africa to apply to become a TEACH Ambassador in 2017.