Durban – Graduate primary school teachers who are being produced by the country’s universities are walking into classrooms ill-qualified, resulting in pupils “falling progressively behind the expectations of the curriculum with each passing year”.
This is according to research by the Joint Education Trust done in collaboration with the Education Deans’ Forum, the Department of Higher Education and Training and the Department of Basic Education.
Written by education expert, Dr James Taylor, the research examined the curricula at five higher education institutions across the country that offered teaching course for the intermediate phase – Grades 4 to 6.
The report, which does not name the institutions, paints a bleak picture of teaching and among other things reveals:
-Low levels of English proficiency among both teachers and pupils that placed a “fundamental limit on academic progress”, since English is the medium of teaching and learning in around 90 percent of schools.
-A lack of adequate teaching for reading has meant a large numbers of pupils reach Grade 5 essentially illiterate.
-Lack of adequate teachings for basic numeracy has resulted in pupils up to Grade 7 using “stick counting” methods to perform relatively complex arithmetic operations.