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Pay teachers more

This is one of those topics I have always felt very passionate about.  My grandfather, on my mother’s side was a school principal in Amanzimtoti and my grandmother, Helen Wilson, was a school teacher.  She went to University at a time when very few women did and was a very talented women who entered one of the few professions open to women at that time.  In those days, being the principal of a school was an important position to hold and would have made you, not quite equal to the Mayor of Amanzimtoti, but certainly to be one of the more prominent people in town and the job was much better paid, relative to other jobs at that time, than it is now. 

Teachers around the world are getting paid less and less with the result that the field is attracting the worst students – quite often, and statistics in some countries bear this out, those who take on teaching jobs come in the bottom one-third of the results at their University or College.  The countries that are taking education serious and paying quite generously are actually famous for a far better system of education and that would include South Korea, Finland and Germany. 

If you want to attract a top talented teacher you have to pay more and you should want to attract the top talented teacher because do you want your children to be taught by the most talentless, bottom of the class people?  Teachers should not be at the bottom of the pile when it comes to salaries and as it is we lost a fortune of our top teachers to the UK about 10 to 15 years ago, including one of my good friends, simply because he could earn so much more money in London and be living in an international city as well, than he could in South Africa. 

We lost our nurses to Dubai, our dentists to Canada, our doctors to London and all for similar reasons, but I would say really there are few people that are paid less than our nurses and our teachers and both of them are critical. Ask yourself why there has been such an explosion of personal injury and medical negligence cases in South Africa? The best nurses left and we lost a lot of teachers and continue to do so.  This however, is not a problem that just South Africa has – too many countries think that they can underpay teachers and that somehow underpaid teachers will produce a new crop of geniuses.  If you want the best, you need to pay the best and things get worse when people know that the private schools will pay better salaries to the teachers than in public schools and so of course, the children of middle to wealthy parents pay more so that their children can get a better education and a better teacher than the person sitting in a village in Mpumalanga.  The problem is if you don’t educate the person sitting in a village in Mpumalanga properly, there is every chance that he is going to either do something bad to you and your family, because he gets into crime or he is never going to be a valuable member of society. 

People always ask me when will South Africa resolve its problems and I always say to them that it will be a number of years after we get the education system right and we have not got it even close to right yet. 

Posted by Michael de Broglio on Friday 05-Jul-19 Share on Facebook   Tweet It

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Comments

Alexis  said:
on Monday 15-Jul-19 12:13 PM
Teachers, being the backbone of any country should be treated as such and paid significantly well. A country is not going to go forth and prosper if education is not dealt with right. It is such a pity that they are not held high in that regard

Jadine Richards  said:
on Friday 12-Jul-19 10:53 AM
It really is a vicious cycle. There needs to be major investment in this sector. Teachers need to be compensated fairly considering all the nonsense that they have to deal with. We cannot expect anybody earning a miserable wage to want to be good at their job or be innovative or hard working.

Angelique Jurgens  said:
on Friday 12-Jul-19 09:20 AM
I agree - one of the most important jobs is that of a teacher. Our government should focus on education and the entire teaching system. Where are the teachers rights? Besides being underpaid they are undervalued and often abused. We need to tackle this issue. The youth are really our future leaders of a better life for all in SA. It is a miracle that we still have teachers when there are far better opportunities teaching overseas - even just teaching English in China or Thailand seems better than dealing with our country. Teachers are definitely overworked and underpaid!

Melissa van Tellingen  said:
on Thursday 11-Jul-19 09:54 AM
I couldn't agree more with Nicolle's comment on this blog. There were a couple of videos doing the rounds on social media about children being so disrespectful to teachers, hitting them and swearing at them. How does the department allow such behaviour.

Megan  said:
on Tuesday 09-Jul-19 02:56 PM
I agree that if individuals were paid the wages they deserved, there wouldn't be such a barrier preventing the country from growing. It's a chain reaction as we all know, if the teacher can't teach the learner won't learn resulting in a society with uneducated individuals. Maybe if the government wasn't so corrupt and the money was correctly allocated, we wouldn't constantly be having minor issues becoming such huge ones! We hope for change, but when is it ever coming?

Nicolle  said:
on Tuesday 09-Jul-19 07:21 AM
They fact that many professions are paid so little, it opens the possibility for immigration. We are loosing valuable knowledge of various qualified people because of the economic situation and also, not just that, but too many human rights that kids possess, ending up being disrespectful to the educators, because they can get away with it

sandra  said:
on Tuesday 09-Jul-19 07:19 AM
I believe that if various professions got paid more, there would be a lesser need to immigrate to other countries (apart for the crime stats). However, i believe each country has its own downfalls.

candice  said:
on Friday 05-Jul-19 04:24 PM
I agree they do get paid a lot less then most professions in this Country but there are a lot of challenges as the pupils that are given a chance in the rural areas burn down the schools and books that they are given.So there are hardly any teachers that want to teach in those situations. And the Schools in the City it seems that we hardly have passionate teachers anymore they basically only teaching for a salary. And the ones that have a passion for teaching really Don't care about the money they get joy out of the fact they helping children learn and to become successful in life.

Michelle Smillie  said:
on Friday 05-Jul-19 01:32 PM
I also think that the curriculum that keeps being degraded as well as the continuous declination in discipline from parents are causing teachers to not enjoy their work anymore. It makes it very difficult for them to do their work effectively and to be appreciated. I wanted to become a teacher as a child but am glad that I chose the legal industry instead.

david  said:
on Friday 05-Jul-19 11:16 AM
as far as i am concerned half the problem is SADTU.
teachers on strike?
union meetings during teaching hours?
jobs for pals/payment?
protecting of useless teachers so they cannot be fired?
etc etc.

Jessica M  said:
on Friday 05-Jul-19 09:31 AM
I have to agree. I believe that teachers are paid very little for the big job they actually have to do. I also think that kid's are becoming more and more naughty and not disciplined and they have to deal with their nonsense ALL DAY. I take my hat off to teachers. I would never be one.

Bianca N  said:
on Friday 05-Jul-19 09:31 AM
It's sad and scary to think that we rely on underpaid teachers who may not have the same passion for their careers, to teach our children and provide a proper education. I agree that those who live in poverty also need a good education to give them better opportunities in future so that they can break the cycle of living in poverty. I honestly love working with children, but the way teachers get paid I won't be able to support my own children if I had to go into teaching.

Nikita  said:
on Friday 05-Jul-19 09:28 AM
Yet we have the Minister proudly proclaiming that the education system is on the rise? The recent survey done into violence in schools revealed that SA was amongst the highest of all nations surveyed. They also noted that teachers in SA schools spend only 66% of their time teaching compared to the other nations who average at 78%. I think this will be because of the violence and disruption of the students. It is next to impossible to teach students that have no respect for their teachers or the system. Most of the students today seem to have the attitude that they don't need to work hard to get an education. I also heard on the radio that the Minister of Education will not be spending any of the departments funds on rebuilding schools in areas where the community burn them down and I fully agree with this. If they spend the money to rebuild the schools the community will just keep burning buildings which is counter productive. I for one would never be a teacher in this day and age.

Lucretia  said:
on Friday 05-Jul-19 09:27 AM
We have quite a few family members who are teachers as well. I know that the thinking in years gone by was that teaching was a calling and not just a job. I know many teachers who are born teachers and the money does not deter them from teaching. Yes teachers need more pay but, do we want to attract teachers on that basis or do we want to attract people who have the passion to teach. My niece does not earn too bad a salary for her age in the government school she teaches at and her perks she has as being a teacher she feels makes up for her salary. Lucky lady is still on her mid year holidays :-)

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Johannesburg based attorney specializing in personal injury matters including Road Accident Fund claims and medical negligence matters. My interests include golf, reading and the internet and the way it is constantly developing. I have a passion for life and a desire for less stress!
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