The challenges facing South Africa’s basic education system are well documented, numerous and intricate. Provinces like the Eastern Cape and Limpopo are often cited as examples of those which lack basic infrastructure.
South African teachers are widely reported to have poor subject matter expertise. Venkat and Spaull, in their analysis of SACMEQ 2007 maths teacher test scores, found that 79% of Grade 6 maths teachers showed content knowledge levels below the Grade 6/7 band.
Furthermore, the report from the Ministerial Task Team that investigated allegations into the selling of posts by members of teachers unions and department officials found that there was undue influence by the SA Democratic Teachers Union in some schools.
The report, published in May 2016, found that the “sale of teachers’ and principals’ jobs for cash, sex and ‘other favours’ is ‘widespread and underreported’.”
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