How to become a teacher in South Africa is a question that may drive you crazy, especially if you are just deciding on a whim. Teachers are special people all over the world and if you have a passion for children you may feel compelled to become a teacher. Sometimes, the conviction comes much later in life necessitating the need of such questions.
Becoming an educator in South Africa might just be the best thing to happen to you. In a country with 11 official languages, South Africa is the opportune country to learn at least one of them while still teaching if you are a foreigner. If you are a South African citizen then teaching in South Africa becomes more fulfilling and a great help to the nation.
Either way, you still need to know how to become a teacher in South Africa before you begin living this incredible life choice. This article explores what courses to study, the subjects required, and the SACE registration details required.
Teaching diploma South Africa
Acquiring a teaching diploma in South Africa is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to become a professional teacher in South Africa. Anyone who qualifies can pursue any diploma teaching courses in South Africa at a vocational or teaching school. You can start here if you are a bit strapped on cash.
The good thing is that you can specialize from the very beginning and select the subjects you would like to teach. That is; if you would like only to teach children in Grade R, you can pursue a Diploma in Grade R teaching. You will need about 18 months to complete a teaching diploma in South Africa.
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4-year Bachelor of Education degree
This is the easiest route to become a teacher in South Africa especially if you are a citizen or resident. You will need to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in education for a period of 4 years depending on the plan you select for your studies. You will have to make this choice in grade 12 and commit for the next four years.
While this automatically qualifies you to teach in South Africa, you can always follow it up with a two year’s honors masters and a doctoral. This is advisable if you plan to teach in tertiary institutions.
Becoming a teacher in South Africa
What do you need to become a professional teacher? What do you need to do to become a professional teacher? These and many more questions cross your mind when you are thinking of becoming a teacher. True, to teach South Africa is a noble calling. It is however, one that you should choose after careful considerations.
If you are seriously curious about what you need to do to become a professional teacher in South Africa, then you should be looking at what subjects are needed to become a teacher in South Africa, the basic qualifications and schools.
The good thing is a good matric score will get you into an education program in South Africa. However, if you need to specify what subjects you would like to teach, then you need to have good scores in those subjects. This also applies once you go the PGCE route discussed below.
Where to study teaching in South Africa
Next, you need to find a university that caters to your needs to become a professional teacher. There are quite a few, and you will have to select one depending on your location, finances, or preference. A list of universities to get you started on your undergraduate teaching course includes the following schools;
- Walter Sisulu University
- North-West University
- University of Pretoria
- University of Witwatersrand
- University of Johannesburg
- University of KwaZulu-Natal
- University of the Western Cape
3-4 year Degree and 1 year PGCE
This option is a further step from the bachelor’s degree and is most preferred if you would like to specialize in specific subjects. The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) has to be in the same subjects you chose in your 4-year degree. Generally, you qualify to be a professional high school teacher in a specific subject if you take this route.
Volunteer teacher in South Africa-TEFL Certificate
The student-educator ratio is not that great which necessitates the acceptance of volunteer educators in the country, especially for the pre-primary and primary classes. Most people who volunteer to teach in South Africa mainly teach English. To qualify, you will have to be vetted using South African standards via the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
Alternatively, you can become a professional teacher in South Africa by presenting your TEFL exams. This proves that you can actually teach English, one of the 11 official languages of South Africa.
Register with SACE
Now that you already have a certificate that allows you to teach in South Africa, you need to register with the SACE to start practicing officially. This is a requirement per Section 21 of the South African Council for Educator’s Act that you will have to fulfill before you are appointed to a teaching post and regardless of what phase you would like to teach.
South African Council of Educators (SACE) will require you submit a fully filled application form, present your identity card, an up-to-date police clearance certificate and pay the registration fee. The registration fee is usually around R200 for South African citizens and R400 for non-South African citizens.
In addition to those three, to apply for SACE registration, non-South Africans will have to submit;
- Proof of employment by a school in South Africa
- A work permit allowing you to teach in South Africa
- An evaluation report for employment in education obtained from the Department of Basic Education: Education Qualifications and Program sector
- An evaluation report from SAQA
- Proof of permanent residence in South Africa
- Non-South African identity document
The SACE then vets your application and may investigate claims you disclose before you are approved to teach in South Africa. You will be given an SACE registration number that uniquely identifies your registration and status.
Either of the way ways discussed should answer your question on how to become a teacher in South Africa both as a citizen or foreigner. Once you decide to become an educator, you are making a conscious decision to be a major influence in at least one of the students you teach. It s both a difficult task but very fulfilling too.