Teacher Remuneration in South Africa: Incentivizing Performance
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Despite high government expenditure, education in South Africa is poor quality. We focus on how teacher quality can be improved by improving the structure of their remuneration. Performance-related pay, which can be based either on measuring learner test scores, or by measuring teacher content knowledge or pedagogical skills, has sometimes been successful in countries with low levels of teacher effort, and may be applicable in South Africa. However, measures to enhance accountability or reward performance need to take into account resistance by teacher unions. We situate the discussion in the context of South Africa's existing framework for teacher remuneration under the Occupation Specific Dispensation. From this, we criticize the relatively flat progression of salaries as teachers' experience increases, which discourages skilled teachers from remaining in the profession. We propose that performance-based pay be integrated into the existing salary structure through bonus salary notch progressions, thereby also increasing the slope of salary progression.