CDE has released an important study examining South Africa’s teacher supply and demand for the next decade. This work is of national importance, valuable to both the Department of Higher Education and Training (supply of teachers) and the Department of Basic Education (employer of teachers) which were involved in developing the model.
The indicators suggest that South Africa will produce sufficient teachers to meet the growing demand over the next decade.
However attention needs to be given to significant projected shortages for different school phases (for example Foundation Phase) and subjects (languages, mathematics and mathematical literacy). There are also considerable inefficiencies in the graduation rate of teachers from higher education institutions which need to be addressed. South Africa will face challenges arising from the unusual age profile of teachers (as a result of years of very low graduate numbers in the first decade of the 21st century) and the resignation of more qualified teachers than unqualified ones.
The current data sets available for decision making are generally inaccurate, incomplete and inconsistent. However, the model provides a sound basis for high level policy considerations regarding teachers.