Becoming a teacher

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Good day.

Can you please supply me with information on how I can become an home economics teacher. What coarse to do and for how long it is. Part time or permanent. I am currently working for a catering company as a unit manager as well as a catering manager.

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Teaching is a noble profession that requires passion, commitment, tolerance, perseverance, character and the dedication to make a difference in the lives of a diverse group of young and older children, depending on your choice of phase specialisation. This profession will afford you the opportunity to nurture and mould young and growing minds and to develop a variety of vital lifelong skills in children. Contributing to the academic and social development of children is a fulfilling experience that you should embrace. Go ahead. Make a difference in the lives of children. Choose teaching as a career!
Who qualifies to become a teacher?
Any academically-gifted, young –

  • learners currently in Grade 12;
  • graduates who want to complete a teaching qualification;
  • people who want to make a career change and become teachers; and
  •  unemployed people who want to become teachers.

Choose the route you want to follow to qualify as a teacher
You may follow one of two routes in becoming a teacher, namely: a four-year Bachelor of Education degree (B.Ed.); a three-or four-year Bachelor’s degree, followed by a one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Once completed, both routes lead to classification as a professionally qualified teacher. Upon qualifying, you will be required to register with the South African Council for Educators (SACE).

There are other study options for those who don’t qualify for the BEd programme. You can obtain a teaching qualification by doing short, online or distance courses. For example Unisa offers a range of educational programmes such as multi grade teaching methodologies, education management, sports psychology programmes and more.

There are also many funding opportunities. These include self-funding; bursaries from government departments, bursaries from corporate organisations or personal loans.

The Department of Basic Education is eager to help students acquire a teaching qualification. The biggest government funding tool for teachers is the The Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme. These full-cost bursaries are available to eligible students. Recipients will be required to teach at a public school for the same number of years they have been funded. For more information go to the Bursaries Portal
Choose the phase (level of schooling) you wish to specialise in
You will need to consider the age range that you would like to teach. The age ranges are clustered into phases. Please note that the age ranges indicated below only serve as a guideline. There will be instances where a slightly younger/older child forms part of a particular phase.

The phase specialisations are as follows:

  • Foundation Phase: (±5 – 9-year-olds): Grades R – 3
  • Intermediate Phase: (±10 – 12-year-olds): Grades 4 – 6
  • Senior Phase: (±13 – 15-year-olds): Grades 7 – 9
  • Further Education and Training (FET) Phase: (±16 – 18-year-olds): Grades 10 – 12

Some higher education institutions (HEIs) allow for a combination of phase specialisation. In these instances, you could specialise in two consecutive phases. For the Intermediate, Senior and FET Phases, you will be given the opportunity to choose the subjects that you wish to specialise in, which include fields in languages, mathematics, the sciences, technology, business and management, and the humanities.


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