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If you want to become a teacher in South Africa, you will need to be properly trained. Indeed, you must study to achieve a teaching degree before you can consider looking for suitable jobs.
Here we will look into this area in more detail, so you can work out what to expect from teacher training.
What are the requirements to embark on teacher training?
Before you can be considered for a place on a degree course, you must make sure you have a National Senior Certificate. The exact details of this certificate will vary depending on which university you want to study at, so make sure you do some research before applying. It may also depend on whether you want to teach young pupils or older ones. If you want to be a primary school teacher the subjects you passed in your NSC will not matter as much. However if you want to teach a particular subject to older children, you must have pass marks in the appropriate subjects.
What degree do you have to study for?
The answer depends on whether you want to teach a specific topic or whether you want to teach younger children. A Bachelor of Education degree is a basic degree in teaching, enabling you to work in the profession.
However if you want to teach a specific subject, such as English, you could get a bachelor degree in that subject and follow it up with a PGCE. This stands for a post graduate certificate in education. So you have a couple of options to consider.
How long will the training last?
The actual degree courses last from three to four years if you decide to opt for a full time course. If you want to study part time – perhaps alongside your existing job for example – you can expect a bachelor degree to take six years to complete, depending on the provider. Not all universities will offer part time courses so bear this in mind.
Does the course provide practical training as well as classroom and theory training?
Yes – this is just as vital to your training as a teacher as the actual coursework and learning experience is. You will need to get some experience in a classroom as part of your training so you will be ready to face a class as a fully qualified teacher at the end of the course.
Which type of training is best in terms of career options?
Many people will say it is better to get the BEd degree because it gives you the ability to be employed in more positions. If you study for a degree in a particular science and add the PGCE to it, you can only really be employed as a teacher of the subject you have chosen. So unless you have a passion for a particular topic and want to teach only that, the Bachelor degree might be the best type of teacher training you can get, leading you into a rewarding career as a teacher.