what subjects are needed to become a teacher in south africa


To become a teacher in South Africa, you need to meet certain educational requirements and have a solid foundation in various subjects. This article will guide you through the subjects needed to pursue a teaching career in South Africa, helping you understand the essential areas of study that are crucial for your success.

1. Language Proficiency

Language proficiency is a fundamental requirement for teaching in South Africa. Aspiring teachers must have a strong command of the official languages, including English and Afrikaans, to effectively communicate and interact with students.

2. Mathematics

what subjects are needed to become a teacher in south africa

Mathematics is a vital subject for teachers, as it helps develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities in students. An understanding of mathematics is necessary for teaching primary and high school learners, enabling them to excel in various fields.

3. Sciences

Having a grasp of sciences such as biology, chemistry, and physics is essential for teaching the respective subjects at higher grade levels. Familiarity with these subjects equips teachers with the necessary knowledge to explain complex concepts and conduct experiments.

4. Social Sciences

Social sciences, including subjects like history, geography, and political science, are crucial for teachers to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the world. These subjects promote critical thinking, cultural awareness, and social responsibility in learners.

5. Technology and Computer Literacy

In today’s digital age, a strong foundation in technology and computer literacy is vital for teachers. Proficiency in using computers, online resources, and educational software enhances teaching methods and facilitates effective student engagement.

6. Education and Pedagogy

While subject knowledge is crucial, teachers must also possess a solid understanding of educational principles, teaching methodologies, and classroom management techniques. Educational courses and training programs equip prospective teachers with the necessary tools and strategies to engage students effectively.

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7. Life Orientation

Life Orientation is a distinctive subject in the South African curriculum, focusing on various aspects of personal development, career planning, and life skills. Teachers need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to guide students in making informed decisions about their future.

8. Additional Languages

While proficiency in English and Afrikaans is necessary, having knowledge of additional languages is advantageous. South Africa is a multicultural and multilingual society, and being able to communicate in other official languages, such as isiZulu, isiXhosa, or Sesotho, can enhance your teaching ability and connect with a broader range of students.


To become a successful teacher in South Africa, one must have a solid foundation in a variety of subjects. Language proficiency, mathematics, sciences, social sciences, technology, educational principles, life orientation, and additional languages all contribute to creating a well-rounded educator. By acquiring knowledge in these areas, teachers can effectively engage and inspire their students, ensuring a bright future for the learners and the country as a whole.

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