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Johannesburg - The fact that more than 14 000 teachers left the public schooling system over a period of 12 months should come as no surprise.
This is according to education analyst and senior lecturer at Unisa’s College of Education, Moeketsi Letseka, who said this was to be expected, considering the state of education and the conditions teachers work under.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga revealed that the total number of teachers who left the employ of the department in the 2012/13 financial year was 14 302.
Reportedly, this figure is down from 14 988 in 2011/12. The lowest number over the past five financial years was recorded in 2008/09, when only 11 903 teachers left.
It was reported that in the 2012/13 financial year, 6 272 qualified teachers resigned, 1 859 died, 394 left because of ill health, 5 417 retired and 360 were fired.
Letseka said the fact that Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy was seeking legal advice on how to get rid of problem children who posed a threat to their peers and teachers showed that teachers were no longer safe. The fact that pupils brought drugs, weapons and the like to schools pointed to a moral decay in society as a whole.
“Teaching is no longer the place to go to,” Letseka said, adding this was why the gap between teachers who leave the system and those who enter remained wide.
He said the education system needed between 25 000 and 30 000 teachers every year, yet the higher education and training system produced between 6 000 and 8 000 a year, with about 10 000 “in a good year”.