introduction AND RATIONALE FOR THIS STUDY
The rate at which teachers abandon the teaching profession is shocking, and it is accelerating all the time. Schools in South Africa are characterised by a severely inhibited and inhibiting culture that offers their teachers little or no professional satisfaction (SADTU 2003: 3), with the natural result that teachers begin to look further afield for better opportunities. The problem has now reached epidemic proportions in that a mass migration is in progress from the teaching profession to industry and other sectors. The government and other stakeholders urgently need to address this wholesale migratory movement. The researcher believes implicitly that school management has a responsibility to be positive, optimistic and loyal to the cause of education by doing their utmost to address this problem.
Teachers' widespread demonstrations, picketing and strikes have been the order of the day in South Africa. Haffajee and Bisseker (2002: 31) reports teachers' picket and stay away in protest against poor working conditions and low salaries. Furthermore, these teachers' protests and picketing are mostly held against their fringe benefits such as housing allowances and medical aid.
The government and the teachers' unions are ever at loggerheads over various issues relating to education, with the result that many competent and experienced teachers feel constrained to abandon the teaching profession and join other public and private sectors (Haffajee and Bisseker. 2002: 31).
Instead of attracting energetic, bright young minds, various problems in the teaching profession seem to be a stumbling block which repels them. Poor salaries are a major reason why the Department of Education has failed to attract bright young minds and to keep competent and experienced teachers in the teaching profession. Mona (2004: 3) reports that the National Education Statistics survey found that teachers are leaving the profession in thousands (7 % yearly), and they leave due to reasons such as poor student discipline and poor salaries.
The above-mentioned defection has left many schools derelict because they have lost their most important asset, the hard-working and motivated teachers. As noted by SADTU (2003: 3), this is not a new problem. Many good teachers left the profession before 1994, so the reasons why teachers abandon the teaching profession should be investigated. The present study is an attempt at such an investigation.
The onus is on school management to deal effectively with the factors or reasons why teachers abandon the teaching profession. According to Zulu et al. (2004: 174) school management must manage and motivate all concerned pupils, teaching staff, associates et cetera. It entails making sure that the school as a whole is functioning effectively and achieving its vision. The South African Schools Act (Act 84 of 1996) requires that the professional management of a public school be undertaken by the principal under the authority of the Head of the Department of Education, namely the Superintendent General of the Provincial Department of Education, (see Van Niekerk et al. 2003: 72 and Calitz [ed.] 2002: 77). The authority of school management to make decisions in this regard should be urgently extended to the professional school management team (SMT) formed by the principal as head in assembly with the school governing bodies (SGB).
INSTRUCTIONS AFTER PAYMENT
- 1.Your Full name
- 2. Your Active Email Address
- 3. Your Phone Number
- 4. Amount Paid
- 5. Project Topic
- 6. Location you made payment from