The international Teaching Learning International Survey (Talis) revealed that only 66 percent of classroom time in South Africa is spent on teaching, as opposed to 78 percent in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.
South Africa Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga blamed this on amount of time spent by teachers on clerical tasks and dealing with disciplinary problems in class.
“We have to fast-track our programme on teachers’ laptops, maybe they are still doing a lot of work manually because they have to keep the records, they have to keep the children’s records, if they are doing it manually it will take them longer as compared to countries where teachers possibly use ICTs (Information Communication Technology),” she said.
The findings were announced on Tuesday during the release of the Talis report at Nellmapius Secondary School in Pretoria.
Talis covers about 260,000 teachers in 15,000 schools across 48 countries and economies.
It surveyed teachers and school leaders on the working conditions and the learning environment in several countries, including, Australia, Japan, Korea, Norway, the United States and the United Kingdom, to provide a barometer of the profession.
The report is viewed as an examination of the Basic Education sector from the perspective of teachers.
The report highlighted linguistic challenges showing that on average, 62 percent of teachers work in a school where there is 10 percent of students whose first language is different from their language of instruction.
Meanwhile, 81 percent of SA teachers said they can cope with the challenges of teaching a multicultural classroom as compared to 67 percent across the OECD.
The report also indicated that teachers are still dealing with overcrowding and low salaries.
Motshekga said the report was important because it comes from teachers themselves.
“Having read the report we have to take into consideration in terms of our own context what is the reality in terms of addressing the issues raised,” she said.
– African News Agency (ANA)