South Africa has a huge skills shortage. Six-thousand new teachers qualify a year, but we need 25000.
Market-related salaries are needed to attract, train and retain teachers of calibre.
Teacher unions demand 12percent and reject government's offer of 6percent.
Feelings are running so high that a strike has been threatened. That's not in the best interests of pupils or schools.
I sent in my own tips for Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and asked that he allocate a bigger portion of the budget to education.
More pupils attend school, and more stay longer.
In Gauteng enrolments rose by about 60000 a year between 2004 and last year.
Let's hope that Minister of Welfare and Population Development Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi will listen to the evidence and demands of the unions.
Otherwise, it may cost more in the long run to import teachers.
South Africa will have to import maths, science and technology teachers in the short term to address the shortage of skills critical to our economic growth.
DA spokesperson on
education in Gauteng