Teacher migration in South Africa: the past, present and future

Posted on August 27, 2021

The Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria, Prof Chika Sehoole, cordially invites you to the Virtual Inaugural Lecture of Professor Rian de Villiers which will be held as follows:

Date: 06 September 2021
Time: 18:00 – 19:00
Follow the link to RSVP
For enquiries contact: [email protected]

The diaspora of skilled knowledge is increasingly becoming valued as transnational human capital in the context of globalisation. In light of this, teacher migration is recognised as a growing regional, continental, and global phenomenon in industrialised and non-industrialised countries. Migrant teachers perform an essential role in balancing the teacher demand-supply equation in the South African education system.

The loss of experienced local teachers, particularly in mathematics and the sciences, has forced many
schools to become dependent on migrant teachers. Currently, migrant teachers are thrown into the deep end across countries, cultures and curricula, and find it difficult to cope in their new environment. This lecture reports on trained international teachers’ motives for migration to South Africa as a destination country, their personal and professional experiences in public and combined schools, and
their future career plans.

Understanding the experiences of transnational migrant teachers is crucial to promoting their rights, mitigating risks associated with their migration, and improving their professionalism. The employment, subsequent treatment, and real-world experiences of migrant teachers is a human rights issue and must be treated as such. Migrant teachers bring specific strengths and a variety of different worldviews, which can add immense value to South Africa’s position and co-existence in the global village. By protecting migrant teachers, the country could affirm the status of the teaching profession from being diminished by casualisation.


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