How to become a Teacher in South Africa – Primary and Secondary
Do you want to become a teacher in South Africa? This page contains information regarding teaching such as: what High School Subjects are needed to become a Teacher, what to study to become a Teacher, etc.
The South African Government spends more on education than on any other sector (20% of state expenditure and 7% of the nation’s GDP). However, parents are still concerned about the standard of education their children receive and there is a strong demand for high quality teachers. If you have faith in your teaching ability and believe you can make a difference, read on to find out more on becoming a teacher in South Africa.
What Will I Be Doing?
There is no escaping the fact that the education sector is one of the most demanding areas to work in but it is also one of the most rewarding. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is responsible for primary and secondary state schooling so you will be working for this body if you decide to teach in South Africa.
The education system includes General Education and Training (GET) which spans grades 0-9 and Further Education and Training (FET) (grades 10-12) along with work at non-higher education facilities of a vocational nature.
However, the above divisions do not represent the administrative structure of South African schools as primary schools usually consist of grades 1-7 while secondary schools consist of grades 8-12 and we look at what you can expect to be doing in both areas below.
Primary Schools Teachers
As a primary school teacher, you will be expected to develop schemes of work in line with your school’s curriculum. You need to establish a relationship with pupils in order to facilitate learning and you also need to command respect by organising the classroom learning environment and resources.
As you will be teaching very young children, you are responsible for developing and fostering the skills and social abilities of your pupils while also preparing them for examinations. Finally, you must know how to challenge the minds of your students in order to deepen their understanding and knowledge.
Secondary Schools Teachers
As you will be dealing with older students, it is an entirely different experience to teaching primary school pupils. You are expected to observe and record the progress of your class while creating lesson plans that are in line with national objectives. It is essential for you to stay up to date with developments in your particular subject area because unlike in primary schools, you are likely to be tasked with teaching one single subject instead of a multitude of topics. Finally, you must not only prepare them for important exams, you must also prepare them for future learning opportunities at colleges and universities.
How much do Teachers earn in South Africa
Job Market in Teaching Career in South Africa
The Job Market
As the South African Government is keen to build on the progress made in the last 20 years, there are still many teachers’ jobs up for grabs. In the early 1990s, the pass rate in matriculation exams was around 40%; this increased to over 60% in 2009 and figures from 2012 showed that almost 74% of students who sat the matric exams passed.
There are currently an estimated 425,000 educators (teachers and lecturers) employed in South Africa and they are responsible for teaching over 12.4 million learners. The Government has announced a new ‘Action Plan’ which aims to further raise the standards of education in the country by 2025 and for this they will need more high quality teachers.
Who Is Hiring?
There are thousands of state schools all over South Africa that are constantly on the lookout for talented teachers. On any given day you will find advertisements from schools in Witbank, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and more or less every major city in the country. If you are interested in working in a private school, your best option is to get in touch with ISASA as it serves approximately 730 private schools around South Africa.
Top institutions hiring teachers or looking for staff in the Education Sector are:
What Are The Education/Qualification Requirements for Teaching Job?
As the South African Government is committed to raising the standard of education in the country, teachers must now undergo rigorous training. In fact, you will need a National Senior Certificate before you are even considered for a degree course. The most basic degree is a Bachelor of Education which is usually enough for a primary school position. If you want a secondary school job, you will need a degree in the subject you intend on teaching; for example, you require a degree in History in order to be considered for a job as a history teacher.
Your undergraduate studies will include a four-year Bachelor of Education degree which specialises in the Foundation, Intermediate and Senior Phases along with the Further Education and Training Phase. Alternatively, you can take a 3-4 year course in a specialised topic such as Engineering, Arts or Computer Science for example. The next step is to follow it up with a one year Postgraduate Certification in Education (PGCE). Once you become a qualified teacher, you need to register with the South African Council for Educators (SACE).
What High School Subjects are needed to become a Teacher in South Africa,
Most universities offer this 4 year degree. A Bachelors pass, or Matric exemption, is required and the minimum APS score varies at different universities, but is not usually less than 26. In addition, most universities require a minimum level 4 pass (50-59%) for the language of instruction. Some universities also require a minimum of a level 5 pass (60-69%) in the school subjects that you plan on teaching.
Where to study teaching in South Africa
Teaching Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees are offered by many Academic institutions in South Africa. View a list of Universities and Colleges which offer Teaching Courses in their Curriculum on My Courses website.
Are you a good fit for a Teaching Job?
Although your job will depend on whether you work as a primary or secondary teacher, you will need to have the ability to multitask no matter which path you choose. As well as teaching your own students, you may also be asked to cover other classes at short notice. You must also have the ability to improvise as curriculum requirements can quickly change. Finally, you must have patience because there will be times when the children are difficult to manage.