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About the NQT Project

The Newly Qualified Teachers Project, or NQT Project, is an initiative of the School of Education at the University of Cape Town which aims to address the significant attrition rates amongst first year teachers.

The Challenge

Early career teacher attrition rates are high internationally, and South Africa is no different: in 2014 alone, 14 000 teachers left the teaching profession in South Africa. The attrition of qualified teachers is so severe that the projected number of qualified teachers in 2025 is only 7 per cent higher than in 2013 (CDE 2015)1.

In addition, unlike other countries, South Africa currently has no standardized induction or mentorship programmes offered to first year teachers. Schools that are able attempt to provide in-house support, but there is no standard system-wide allowance in personnel deployment, funding for a reduced timetable, or any other additional resources to ease a first year teacher into what is by any measure an extremely demanding job. For the majority of South Africa's schools that are stretched for resources, NQTs are required to perform at the same standard and same volume of work as an experienced teacher.

Our aim

The NQT Project seeks to provide support in multiple ways to teachers in their first year of practice. We do this through:

  • a series of workshops on issues we know NQTs find challenging, such as behaviour management, lesson planning and relationship management with colleagues;
  • providing online resources in the form of videos, lesson plans, tips and tricks for NQTs to use;
  • school visits, lesson observations and recruiting of in-school mentor teachers where feasible to provide more one-on-one support, and;
  • conducting research into what constitutes effective NQT support, drawing on our own experience and research done elsewhere.

1. The Centre for Development and Enterprise. 2015. Teachers in South Africa: Supply and Demand

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