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Competency tests for teachers a tick away

Govt says the tests will ensure teachers are equipped with the skills they need in the classroom.

A teacher reading to her class at the Samson Senior Primary School in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Competency tests for teachers could be on the cards in the future.

An official from the Department of Higher Education and Training told Members of Parliament on Tuesday that there were strong moves towards the ongoing testing of teachers, to ensure they are equipped with the skills they need in the classroom.

The Democratic Alliance views this as a positive indication that government is moving towards teacher competency testing, and MP Gavin Davis is hopeful.

He says there are currently no tests or measures in place to ensure teachers can actually teach.

"The big gap in our system at the moment is that there's no way of telling whether a teacher who qualifies with a teaching qualification can actually teach. And we've seen with various studies that many teachers actually can't grasp the content of the questions that they ask the children."

He added, "This competency testing will go some way to bridge the gap between the theoretical learning that they get at university and the practical skills they need in the classroom."