A TOTAL of 400 teachers in the Northern Cape are underqualified for their positions.
This was stated in a reply by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, to DA MP Gavin Davis regarding the total number of teachers that her department has identified as being underqualified for their positions in each of the past three academic years.
In the Northern Cape, the number has remained fairly constant over the last three years, ranging from 388 in 2014, to 386 in 2015 and 400 in 2016.
Most of the unqualified teachers are in the John Taolo District, which last year had 172 teachers who were unqualified or underqualified. In the ZF Mgcawu District, there were 115 teachers who were not qualified for their position.
In the remaining three districts in the Province, Pixley ka Seme had 47 unqualified teachers, Frances Baard had 56 and Namaqua 10.
According to the Minister of Basic Education, the numbers of unqualified and underqualified teachers had come down over the last three years.
“On average, about 60 percent of all unqualified and underqualified educators are employed in KwaZulu-Natal with a significant number in the rural districts such as Zululand, uThukela and uThungulu.”
Of the total number of 5 139 unqualified teachers in 2016, 2 875 were appointed in KwaZulu-Natal. The Northern Cape had the second highest number of unqualified teachers with 500, followed by the Western Cape with 337. Limpopo was the lowest with 15 unqualified teachers.
According to the department, the subjects most affected include Mathematics, Sciences and Technology at all levels and African Language teaching, particularly at Foundation Phase.
Responding to a question on what action has been taken by the department to address the problem, it was pointed out that the focus of the department, at a national level, was to address the supply of teachers through various initiatives.
“These include the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme which focuses on Mathematics, Sciences, Technology and African Languages, and the appointment of foreign educators qualified to teach scarce skills.”