n South African Journal of Education - The career plans of newly qualified South African teachers

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



We report on survey data collected from 776 final-year student teachers from 11 higher education institutions in October 2004. The purpose of the survey was to find out how many newly qualified teachers were planning to teach abroad and how many were planning to teach in South Africa. Two issues formed the backdrop of the study: teacher migration and teacher shortages in South Africa. Key findings from the study showed that 27.4% of the student teachers were planning to teach abroad in 2005, 63.3% were planning to teach in South Africa, and the remainder (7.2%) were not planning to teach. However the vast majority of those planning to teach abroad indicated that they would be returning to South Africa within two years. Of the student teachers who were planning to teach in South Africa, only 33% indicated that they already had a job secured for 2005. Three-quarters of these posts were to be paid by school governing bodies in ex-Model C schools. We argue that teacher shortages are not translating into available jobs for newly qualified teachers. Issues of race cannot be ignored, in that white teachers are more likely to get posts in well-resourced schools, and are more likely to go abroad to teach.

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