Quality teachers as important as their quantity

Congratulations on your editorial of January 23. Yes, there is a need to reverse the exodus from township schools.

Congratulations on your editorial of January 23. Yes, there is a need to reverse the exodus from township schools.

A Gauteng Department of Education audit in 2005 showed a need for 125 secondary schools and 49 primary schools.

Since then there have been an additional 84000 new enrolments last year and probably a similar number this year. In other words there was a need for another 4806 classrooms last year.

Yet, according to the budget statement of the GDE, there were 4659 empty classrooms in Gauteng.

Theoretically, if one could reverse the flow from township schools to inner city or suburban schools the overcrowding and shortage of 174 classrooms could be addressed. But, as you correctly point out, parents are voting with their feet against under-qualified and under-performing teachers.

Time on task has to be improved from 45percent to 100percent.

Schools such as Leshata and Aha Thuto in Orange Farm have shown the way.

Good leadership, discipline and a lot of extra tuition over weekends and school holidays make a difference.

But one needs good, dedicated teachers, especially in maths and science.

It remains to be seen if the R700million for bursaries for student teachers will produce 25000 new teachers every year instead of 6000.

David Quail, DA education spokesman, Gauteng

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