Education Department dismisses claims of teachers leaving SA

The department said it has in fact seen an increase in the number of teachers remaining in the public education system.

The Basic Education Department has dismissed media reports claiming that teachers are leaving the public education system in droves, reports Northglen News.

“We are not sure where the narrative that our teachers are leaving the public education system en-mass is coming from, this is simply not true. As our data indicates, we are retaining more teachers in the public system and our supply of teachers has tripled over the past few years. We do not anticipate that we will experience a crisis at any point,” said Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

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Contrary to the claims, the department said it has actually seen an increase in the number of teachers remaining in the public education system.

“The department monitors the trends of attrition in public schools over a period of five years. Looking at five financial years up to the end of March 2017, it shows that attrition due to resignation decreased drastically between financial years 2015/16 and 2016/17 from 8 619 to 5 211. Overall, attrition due to resignation of teachers leaving the system accounts for about 1.9% of all educators,” said Mhlanga.

According to the department, there are approximately 410 000 teachers in the public education system placed at 25 000 schools across the country, that are responsible for educating 12.9 million learners.

Mhlanga said overall attrition and in particular attrition due to teachers leaving the system completely is relatively low.

“The supply of newly qualified teachers has almost tripled over the five years to 2016, growing from 8 000 in 2012 to 23 800 in 2016. There is therefore more than adequate supply to address current attrition levels,” he said.

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