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Motshekga: Dept to monitor why teachers spend less time teaching

A new survey has found that the country's teachers only spend 66% of classroom time teaching as opposed to an international average of 78%.

FILE: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that her department would closely monitor why South African teachers spent less time teaching compared to other countries.

A new survey has found that the country's teachers only spend 66% of classroom time teaching as opposed to an international average of 78%.

This has been revealed in the TALIS report, which was made public on Tuesday.

The survey investigated the conditions of learning and teaching in schools across 48 countries.

Why are South African teachers spending less time in front of the class? Well, Minister Motshekga has attributed this to a number of different factors, including disciplinary issues and a lack of support staff at schools.

“And some of the things we know, like in the Eastern Cape it is a problem when you don’t have a clerk at the school - it means you’re a teacher and a clerk at the time.”

The TALIS report has also found that one out of four teachers in the country have not completed tertiary education.

South Africa was the only African state to take part in the survey, among those on the list is the United States, Norway, Japan and China.

USEFUL BENCHMARK

Motshekga said that an education study that reveals serious shortcomings in the education system will be a useful benchmark for improvement.

The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) canvassed around 260,000 teachers in 48 countries.

It revealed, amongst other things, that levels of violence and intimidation at South African schools were among the highest of those nations surveyed.

It also revealed that South African teachers spent only 66% of their classroom time teaching, as opposed to 78% in the rest of the world.

Despite the many challenges facing the country's education sector, Motshekga believed it was improving.

“But I also stand here acknowledging or proudly proclaiming that we really feel, as a country, that we’re a system on the rise.”

Motshekga said, while the TALIS report has highlighted nothing new, there were outcomes citizens can be proud of.

“The programmes that we have, the teacher collaboration, the partnerships that we have with our institutions of higher learning, so, it really is encouraging to see some of the things that we’re putting in the system are beginning to yield results.”

Motshekga said the full report would be widely circulated in the sector and beyond in order for the country to find ways of addressing the problems facing the education system.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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