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On 25 May 2023, the Teacher Demographic Dividend (TDD) project hosted its first Provincial Spotlight Dialogue at The Blades, Pretoria. The dialogue was organised with the aim of receiving feedback on the new research findings in TDD’s national and provincial reports, as well as on a proposed national survey investigating new teacher placement and retention. The dialogue was attended by officials from the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs), Department of Basic Education (DBE), Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and National and Provincial Treasuries.

In the first session of the dialogue, Prof Servaas van der Berg set the scene by briefly summarising the key findings of the research report on teacher supply and demand that was produced for DHET in 2020 (publicly released in 2022). Presentation available here.

Prof Martin Gustafsson, in his presentation, provided insight into what changes in the demand and supply of new teacher graduates will mean for universities and schools over the next decade. Presentation available here.

Ms Bianca Böhmer presented on provincial teacher demographic trends, focusing on province-specific projected educator demand. The presentation discussed the age distribution of educators and how this relates to projected resignations and retirements, growth rates of the population of school-age children, movement of educators (between provinces and between schools), expected changes in unit costs of educators and other province-specific trends. Presentation available here.

In the post-lunch session, Ms Poppie Ntaka briefly introduced the Provincial Spotlight Series, a series of information-sharing workshops with the PEDs and other key provincial stakeholders in the education sector. Presentation available here.

Dr Heleen Hofmeyr and Ms Irene Pampallis then introduced the teacher survey that they plan to conduct in the second half of 2023. The survey aims to obtain a broad understanding of what motivates individuals to study teaching, how teaching graduates decide which posts to take up, and new teachers’ job satisfaction and future employment plans. After the presentation, dialogue participants were divided into smaller groups and invited to give input into the questionnaire. The resulting discussions generated a wealth of valuable suggestions and perspectives on the draft survey. Presentation available here.

The Teacher Demographic Dividend Project is a three-year research project focusing on various aspects of the impending wave of teacher retirements. RESEP is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project, and many of the project researchers are affiliated with RESEP. Find out more at the TDD website.