The calibre of teachers in schools looks set to drastically improve as scores of South Africa's top students sign up for the embattled profession, writes Prega Govender for The Times. Universities across the country confirmed being flooded with applications from first-year students wanting to study the four-year teaching degree.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal's education faculty, based at Edgewood College, increased its admission requirements after receiving almost 14,000 applications for only 650 places. Deans of education faculties last week said that the huge numbers of students opting to become teachers would drastically reduce the teacher shortage - estimated at nearly 100 000 in 2008. In addition, it would address the high number of unqualified teachers working at the country's schools.
The Department of Basic Education awarded more than 28,000 bursaries worth R1.1-billion (US$155.8359 million) over the past four years to student teachers. In an indication of the quality of the new applicants, Dawn Atkins (20) who bagged distinctions in all her courses in first-year physiotherapy at the University of the Witwatersrand last year, gave it up to study teaching at the University of Johannesburg.
Full report on the Times Live site
Receive UWN's free weekly e-newsletters