Teach SA ready to do it
YOUNG South African graduates are lining up to help break the teaching backlog in rural areas, with Teach SA being swamped with applications to teach English, Science and Maths.
The NGO received 821 applications from graduates interested in working in rural schools last year, but only managed to place 9% of them.
With funding from a mining company, the organisation on Friday sent off 26 teachers to start working in communities around the mine's operations next year.
When the NGO started in 2008, CEO Mothomang Diaho said there was concern about many young people not wanting to work in far-flung rural areas - but she instead found that the youth "continuously remind us that someone gave them a leg up and they want to give back to society".
The teachers that Teach SA place in communities sign up for a two-year term. About 67% of these remained in teaching. While the NGO normally refrains from placing new teachers in Grade 12 classes, it says due to the shortage of physical science teachers they are forced to do so.
According to Richard Masemola, executive director of Teach SA, the programme has been so successful that in some of the schools the pupils' marks increased by between 9% and 47%.
Masemola said the programme also served purposes not originally envisaged.
"In one case the Teach SA ambassador found a shortage of textbooks at a school in Limpopo, unrelated to the current crisis. We placed the need on our website and a Canadian doctor made money available for books."
The organisation would be able to do even better if the provincial departments of basic education were to provide funded posts, Masemola said.