Author(s): Kgomotlokoa Linda Thaba-Nkadimene, Sharon Dipolelo Mmakola
Commercial subjects are facing extinction in some rural Limpopo schools in South Africa because of poor performance of learners in such subjects. This facing out of commercial subjects developed curiosity in the researchers to start with this inquiry. This study was aimed at examining the reflections and experiences of teachers on the phasing-out of commercial subjects in selected rural Limpopo Secondary schools. The study is both empirical and conceptual in nature. Interviewing and observation techniques were used to collect data from twelve commercial teachers with 3-8 years of teaching experience. The findings revealed that, firstly, there is poor teachers’ performance, which results in the phasing out of commercial streams. Inadequate pedagogical content knowledge and non-subject specialists were found to be the primary contributors to poor teachers’ performance. Secondly, shortage of teachers was identified as a challenge experienced in rural Limpopo schools. This shortage perpetuates the use of non-subject specialists. Thirdly, a hostile working environment caused by work overloading and lack of strategic school resources and infrastructure. As part of the conclusion, this study recommends that qualified teachers should teach commercial subjects from Senior to Further Education and Training Phases. Furthermore, the teacher's provisioning model should be reviewed, and each commerce subject should be taught by a person who specialised in such a subject. Lastly, teaching and learning resources and provisioning of subject advisors’ backlog should be addressed.