How Do I Become a Foundation Teacher

What is the Foundation Phase?

The Foundation Phase ranges from Grade R (the reception year) to Grade 3.

Why is the Foundation Phase so important?

The Foundation Phase is the first phase of formal schooling in South Africa, and is very important in establishing the basis on which learners will grow in formal schooling. Learners who do well in the Foundation Phase in general will do well in later phases.

What do Foundation Phase teachers do?

Foundational Phase teachers teach Grade R to Grade 3 primary school learners within a prescribed curriculum. Foundational Phase teachers usually teach all the subjects in the curriculum to learners, whereas teachers in the higher phases teach only certain subjects in which they specialise.

Foundational Phase teachers do a lot of administrative work that includes preparing for tests, marking tests and writing reports. Sport and cultural activities are important in this phase, so Foundational Phase teachers may be asked to help as part of their work.

The main tasks of Foundation Phase teachers include the following:

  1. Teach literacy, numeracy, social science, creative expression and physical education in each grade according to the prescribed curriculum set out in the relevant Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) document.
  2. Develop learners’ interests and abilities through creative activities.
  3. Discuss every child’s progress and problems with their parents.
  4. Seek advice from counsellors and senior teachers.
  5. Guide discussions and supervise work in class.
  6. Work with parents, community and business groups.
  7. Maintain class and school records.
  8. Take part in staff meetings, educational conferences and workshops.
  9. Take part in tasks such as sport, school concerts, and special interest programmes.
  10. Prepare, administer and mark tests, projects, assignments and record learners’ results.
  11. Supervise student teachers on placement.

What is the demand for Foundation Phase teachers?

According to the ETDP SETA’s report Scarce and Critical Skills Guide 2015, the number 1 scarce skill in the education and training sector is Foundation Phase teaching. There is a big shortage of Foundation Phase teachers in South Africa (estimated at nearly 4 000 in 2015/2016).

What qualifications do you need to become a Foundation Phase teacher?

In order to become a Foundation Phase teacher, you need one of the following qualifications:

  • a Bachelor of Education: Foundation Phase Teaching (B.Ed. Foundation Phase) OR
  • a Bachelor degree other than a B.Ed. plus a Post-graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE), specialising in Foundation Phase teaching.

What are the challenges of a Foundation Phase teacher?

The Department of Basic Education is trying to create better working conditions and opportunities for all teachers in all public schools. However, some public schools – especially those in rural areas – are not as well-equipped as those in urban areas, which often makes it challenging to work in rural areas.

What is attractive about becoming a Foundation Phase teacher?

Foundation Phase teaching is less stressful than teaching Intermediate Phase (Grades 4 to 6), Senior Phase (Grades 7 to 9) or Further Education and Training (FET) Phase (Grades 10 to 12). Most Foundation Phase teachers feel joy, fulfilment and pride because of the difference their work makes in the lives of the young learners who are in their care.

The Department of Basic Education makes available incentives such as housing allowances that become part of the salaries of teachers, which also makes the profession financially rewarding. These allowances usually only apply to teachers who work in public school, although private schools may have their own incentives.


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.