#TALIS 2018 – What SA Teachers Are Saying

Riyaz Patel

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Results of the Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis) which covers about 260,000 teachers in 15,000 schools across 48 countries and economies is being released at the Nellmapius Secondary School in Pretoria.

South Africa is the only African state represented in the list of international countries participating in the Talis research study.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the country’s education system is on the rise, but the classroom still faces many issues.

Deputy Basic Education Minister Reginah Mhaule said a unique feature of the #TALIS study is that it affords teachers and principals a voice on educational policy, analysis and developmental key areas.

TALIS 2018 Key Findings on South Africa:

South Africa is the country where school safety incidents occur the most frequently. One out of three principals reported that acts of intimidation or bullying among students occur at least weekly in school.

Incidents of violence in South Africa’s schools are more than double compared to other countries that took part in the survey.

Some 71% of teachers in SA work in schools with over 30% of socio-economically disadvantaged students. This pattern signals high levels of poverty and inequality.

South Africa Indicators 2018

Teachers aged 50 and above – 32.4%

Class time spent on teaching and learning – 66%

Teachers feeling prepared to manage the classroom – 82.4%

Teachers feeling prepared for the use of ICT for teaching – 53.7%

Teachers feeling prepared to teach in multicultural settings – 66.9%

Teachers feeling prepared to teach in mixed-ability settings – 67.4%

In South Africa, 69% of teachers report having participated in some kind of formal or informal induction when they joined their current school, compared to 42% of teachers across OECD countries and economies participating in #TALIS.

At least 97% of teachers in SA cite the opportunity to influence children’s development or contribute to society as a major motivation. 90% also see it as a steady career path.

In SA, the study found, 60% of teachers are female yet only 20% of women are principals.

Teaching was the first-choice career for only 49% of teachers in SA, which was the lowest share of teachers among the the 48 countries part of the survey.

The main author of the report, OECD’s Dr Noémie Le Donné, highlighted linguistic challenges, noting that on average, 62% of teachers work in a school where there is 10% of students whose first language is different from their language of instruction.

The study showed that 81% of teachers feel they can cope with the challenges of a multicultural classroom “quite a bit” or “a lot” in teaching a culturally diverse class as compared to 67% across the OECD.

Principals in SA reported significant material resource shortages. Most of the concerns related to library materials (70%) and infrastructure (56%).

Mhaule said the findings helps policy makers to review and develop policies and create a climate for effective teaching and learning.

At least 97% of teachers in SA cite the opportunity to influence children’s development or contribute to society as a major motivation. 90% also see it as a steady career path.

Teaching was the first-choice career for only 49% of teachers in SA, which was the lowest share of teachers among the the 48 countries part of the survey.

Read More: https://doi.org/10.1787/23039280

When SA teachers were asked what they would do if they could reconfigure spending priorities, teachers said that they would reduce class sizes and increase teacher salaries.

The research focuses on a number of critical areas in the teaching profession, including instrumental practices and beliefs and teacher education and initial preparation.

The Basic Education Department said that this report would provide valid, timely and comparable information that will help the department review and define policies for developing high-quality teaching in the country.

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