Free State Facing Teacher Shortage



The first few years at school are crucial in a child's development, as the foundation of learning is laid as they learn the basics of literacy and numeracy. However, parents in the Free State fear that learners could lose out on this crucial development.




Earlier this year, parents at Matla Primary School in Bloemfontein prevented their children from attending school, demanding the recruitment of more teachers. This after the school was divided into two after an influx of learners.

The Education Department in the province believes that quality learning is taking place in the schools in the province.

Free State Education Spokesperson Howard Ndaba says that parents don't have confidence in schools because their children are being taught in mobile classrooms.

Ndaba has called on parents to have confidence in the department and take their children to school, even if the school is operating with mobile classrooms.

Teacher unions in the Free State believe that increasing the recruitment and employment of teachers and teaching assistants in the province could help remedy the situation. This as they believe the Free State may be facing a teacher shortage.

National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) says the shortage of teachers, especially in the foundation phase, is problematic for learners.

The unions Free State CEO Ramakhera Dikotsi says this has always been a concern for the union. He explains that the foundation phase is a critical phase in the development of learners and argues that good teachers must be employed to impart knowledge on the learners.

He said, “We are worried that schools have been using any available educators in this phase which affects the learning of learners”.

The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) Free State Secretary Mokholoane Moloi believes that the addition of education assistants will add more value as they would reduce the number of learners in classrooms.

He said, “We believe that assistant educators, if they can be fully employed, will add value as support staff to educators and that is the method that will take forward as the organisation”.





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