Supporting incompetent teachers is holding us back

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Prof Jonathan JansenIn an interview he gave to the Pretoria News yesterday, University of Free State Vice Chancellor and Rector, Professor Jonathan Jansen said that despite the crisis the education sector is facing, union pressures and nationalist sentiments will always trump common sense when it comes to hiring the best teachers regardless of where they come from.

Speaking to John Robbie this morning, Prof Jansen said that this is not only reflection on the teachers in the system but on the politics around them and this support of incompetence by teachers unions is what is keeping us back.

Prof Jansen said that we’ve stagnated and even gone backwards in terms of our Maths and Science pass rate and that we have got to “ask ourselves, what have we been doing for the past 21 years to fix this.”

Asked about his view on foreign teachers, Professor Jansen says:

I love Zimbabwean teachers. I would hire a Zimbabwean teacher, just on paper ahead of a South African teacher. They are better trained in subject matter – when you look at township schools with top Maths and Science results, 9 out of 10 it’s a Zimbabwean teacher. Secondly, their work ethic is different. They don’t come with the long history of dysfunction and disruption. They come to school to work and they deliver. At the end of the work is not about how many teachers you employ, it’s whether the children get a deal out of those who teach.

ā€” Professor Jonathan Jansen, University of Free State Vice Chancellor and Rector

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