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teach-article20 May 2013 – Non-profit educational organisation Teach South Africa, which works to get graduate skills into schools to improve the quality of education in South Africa, has launched a new recruitment campaign aimed at recent university graduates with degrees in science, engineering, maths and English.

“The concept and content of the new campaign was aimed at addressing some shortcomings of the previous recruitment campaigns,” says recruitment manager Shesnee Naidoo, who heads the Teach SA recruitment team.

“The result is a fresh, unique and vibrant graduate recruitment campaign that speaks directly to our targeted audience.”

Teach SA was founded by the business community as a way to improve the quality of education and, as a result, the country’s economic performance. Recent graduates are given intensive training over six weeks, after which they become Teach Ambassadors, deployed to disadvantaged schools for a minimum of two years. During the two years they are paid an entry-level teacher’s salary, and receive ongoing support and mentoring from Teach SA.

The organisation’s aims are two-fold: not only to place skilled graduates at schools but, once these graduates move on to careers outside of education, create a group of professionals actively working to improve South African education.

“In the long term, Teach Ambassadors will form an alumni movement, informed by their experience in the classroom, which will fight for educational equality for learners all over South Africa by using their influence in whatever sector they decide to work in,” the organisation says on its website.

The new recruitment campaign is made up of print and web-based adverts targeted at graduates with science, engineering, maths, and English degrees. Candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, during which they must have completed at least a year in one of these subjects. Application to become a Teach Ambassador can only be made via the Teach SA application website, with two deadlines this year: 20 June and 15 September.

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In addition to the advertising campaign, the recruitment drive is also taken to career fairs at universities across South Africa. Six campuses have been visited so far this year, with the dates for future career days as follows:

  • 10 and 11 July – University of South Africa, Pretoria
  • 17 and 18 July – North West University, Mafikeng
  • 23 and 24 July – University of Johannesburg, Kingsway
  • 29 July – Stellenbosch University
  • 31 July and 1 August – Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North Campus
  • 6 August – University of Cape Town
  • 7 August – Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville
  • 8 August – Rhodes University, Grahamstown
  • 12 August – University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg
  • 15 August – University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville
  • 16 August – University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard

The Teach South Africa process

Successful applicants are prepared for the classroom with an intensive six-week training course. The first three weeks are held in November at the end of the academic year at the Teach South Africa Training Academy in Gauteng. Then, after a two-week break, the training continues for a further three weeks in the regions where the new Teach Ambassadors will be working.

The Teach Ambassadors are then deployed to their school, where they teach for a minimum of two years. During this time they receive additional training during the holidays, as well as ongoing support and mentorship.

After two years in the classroom, Teach alumni go on to build careers in a variety of fields: many continue to teach, while others enter the private or public sectors.

According to Teach South Africa, the graduates’ experience during the two years has a significant impact on their lives, both personally and professionally. It is an intense personal challenge, which helps them develop advanced leadership, communication and problem-solving skills. They also come to deeply understand the inequalities and shortcomings currently plaguing education in South Africa. This gives them a foundation for a lifetime of advocacy and civic leadership.

Alumni build a network of colleagues, friends, learners, and learners’ families, who become an ongoing source of personal and professional support. Teach South Africa also organises ongoing networking between alumni.

Graduates who, after the initial two years, do not want to remain in teaching are helped to find jobs by Teach South Africa’s corporate partners.

To find out more, visit Teach South Africa’s Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, or visit their website.

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