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‘We have scores of unemployed teachers in our country’: SA react to shortage of teachers

Picture: Twitter

Picture: Twitter

Published Apr 26, 2022


Unemployed teachers are disheartened by the latest reports about the shortage of teachers in the country, taking to social media to share their heartbreak.

According to the latest reports, the teacher shortage worsened after Home Affairs cancelled Zimbabwe exemption permits.

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Almost 200 000 Zimbabwean nationals will be affected and they don't hold much hope of getting the relevant visa.

Early this month, the opposition Democratic Alliance said it will submit an advisory note to Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi highlighting deficiencies in the country’s critical skills list and how it can be improved to match South Africa’s current development needs.

Among other concerns, the DA raised concerns about a shortage of maths and science teachers in the country.

According to the DA, some provinces are reportedly terminating contracts of foreign STEM teachers ‘in areas with underperforming schools’.

Meanwhile, domestic training schemes for STEM teachers ‘aren’t providing enough high-quality educators’.

“The media is replete with stories of foreign teachers whose contracts were terminated without notice by Provincial Education Departments in the Northern Cape, North West and Limpopo. These provinces always achieve average Matric outcomes every year, and as such, they cannot afford to lose skilled STEM teachers,” said the DA.

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The party said limiting the participation of foreign educators ‘hurts our annual STEM outcomes.’

When speaking to IOL in February this year, the national Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said that there is a shortage of teachers in specific areas that include mathematics, science, technology, and African languages.

“There is an oversupply of teachers in other areas,” he said.

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On the shortage of teachers, many tweeps were angered, and some were relieved and hopeful.

“Meanwhile, it's been 5 years now unemployed, yet we are told about shortages,'' said one tweep.

Another tweep added: “This statement is false considering the number of unemployed teachers that are South Africa some have even changed careers I personally know 3 who are now security and cleaner at a certain hospital.

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“How is this even possible when we have scores or unemployed teachers in South Africa,” posted another tweep.

Another tweep posted: “South African Unemployed BED degree and PGCE holders finally you will have the chance to be employed as Zimbabweans teachers are leaving. More space shall be created for own”.