Skip to main content

This research report was produced for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The study was undertaken to assess demand for, and supply of, teachers in the public service, in order to better inform teacher training policy.

The need for such analysis arose from the concern that not enough teachers are being trained to meet future needs. The 2011 Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development 2011-2025 (DBE & DHET) that flowed from the 2009 Teacher Summit declared adamantly that there was:

…both an absolute shortage of teachers, and a relative shortage of teachers qualified and competent enough to teach specific subjects or learning areas…, in specific phases…, in specific languages…, in Special Needs schools, in ECD, and in rural and remote schools. (DBE & DHET, 2011, 11)

The focus of the current report is mainstream schooling, particularly public schools, looking at Grades 1 to 12. The primary emphasis is on publicly employed teachers; hence teachers in public schools who are privately employed are excluded from this part of the study. However, a secondary focus of the report is demand for teachers outside of the primary focus area, including for teachers in pre-Grade 1 education, teachers in independent schools (which may or may not be publicly funded), teachers in special needs education, as well as for privately paid teachers in public schools. The secondary focus areas may have to some extent different dynamics. Data for these areas is in a different form to data generated for the primary focus area. Hence it is not possible to integrate data derived from the main and secondary focus areas into the main analysis, or to arrive at a single series of conclusions.

On Tuesday, 10 May 2022, RESEP is hosting a small policy workshop at STIAS to share new education research, including the findings of this report, with policymakers. RESEP has developed two policy briefs setting out the main findings of the report. Part 1 of this study focuses almost exclusively on teacher demand. Part 2 focuses on teacher supply, and Part 3 is a comparison of teacher supply and demand.