Dr. Whitfield Green, Chief Director of the Department of Higher Education and Training said there were “strong moves” towards ongoing testing of teachers to ensure they are equipped to teach our children. He added that soon all teachers would need to undergo an induction and meet certain standards of professionalism.
According to Dr. Green, the proposal to introduce competency testing for teachers follows discussions between the Department of Higher Education and Department of Basic Education.
The move towards teacher competency testing is a hugely welcome development. It is well known that the quality of teaching – especially in underprivileged schools – is a key barrier to ensuring that every child has a decent education.
There is currently no competency testing for teachers, and no measures in place to ensure that teachers – whether new graduates or existing teachers – can actually teach.
The available evidence suggests that many teachers cannot grasp the content of what they are teaching. The 2007 Southern and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality study found that only 38% of Grade 6 maths teachers were able to correctly answer a Grade 6 mathematics question.