Despite a number of positive changes in the education system in South Africa, rural
schools still experience problems with regards to accessing qualified teachers, the
availability of teachers and the shortage of teachers in key subjects (Pennefather, 2008).
This study investigated the reasons for the shortage of quality teachers in the Siyanda
District in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. This aim was accomplished through
focusing on the factors that attract and retain teachers in rural schools, as well as the
factors that force teachers to leave these schools. This study was motivated by the fact
that little research has been done on this topic in this part of the country. Therefore, this
study is original and sheds some light on this rural district.
The study made use of a qualitative exploratory research strategy as little research has
been conducted in the geographical area under investigation and an insufficient amount of
theory is available regarding the research topic. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were
held with the participants. These interviews provided rich information regarding the ways in
which participants view and experience specific situations and their individual subjective
experiences of these situations. The research results suggest that the main talent attraction factors are being familiar with
the area and having family in the area. The main talent retention factors were the type of
people and learners living in the area. These factors are remarkable as they are not
something the school can implement; instead they are a contribution from the community.
The lack of resources, research facilities, and the fact that teachers must do all the
research and find information were the main challenges facing teachers in this rural area.
These factors were also cited as the reasons why teachers decide to leave these rural
schools, resulting in a shortage of teachers. The shortage of teachers effects learners as
teachers are forced to teach outside their specialty fields and learners do not get the best
education as possible. In addition, learners are sometimes without teachers as the schools
have trouble finding teachers to fill the vacant positions.
This study made a unique and important contribution to education in the Northern Cape
Province, as little research attention has focused on attracting and retaining quality
teachers in this part of the country. This study was original and focused research attention
on this district. The study provided rich information that can be used to design
interventions that will improve the attraction and retention of quality secondary school
teachers to this rural area.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2012.