TEACHER DEVELOPMENT IN 2015
One of our greatest challenges however, remains the production of sufficiently qualified and competent teachers. To this end, the centrality of comprehensive continuing teacher professional development programs cannot be overemphasised.
The recent adoption (2014) of the Northern Cape Professional Teacher Development Strategy and the operationalisation of the Teacher Development Institute (the old Teacher Centre situated in the Frances Baard district) are geared towards reshaping the total shape and size of teacher development in the province.
Presently (2015), initial in-service programs are underway at the Institute. These focus on enhancement of subject content knowledge in Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences for selected schools.
During the current financial year, an estimated total of 700 teachers stand to benefit from this initial programme at the Teacher Development Institute.
The Sol Plaatje University is a strategic partner in ensuring the successful implementation of the Professional Teacher Development Strategy. Accordingly, this strategic partnership will supply the province with a cohort of qualified Mathematics and Physical Science equipped with a B.Ed Senior Phase Degree.
In the medium to long term, this partnership will strengthened to also respond to the broader continuing Professional Teacher Development Strategy.
Integral to the successful implementation of the Professional Teacher Development Strategy is the full implementation of Subject Committees and Professional Learning Communities. These are currently being established at provincial, district and school level. They will serve as a platform for effective debates on subject content and assessment methodologies amongst teachers and subject advisor, but more importantly amongst teachers themselves.
In 2011, the Northern Cape Department of Education (NCDoE) partnered with SIOC-cdt on an accredited professional teacher development program. The first phase of this partnership was stretched over a period of four years i.e. 2011-2014.
A total of 69 of the 78 teachers’ intake successfully completed their B.Ed Degrees specialising in Mathematics, in English First Additional and Foundation Phase. (17 teachers in Further Education and Training Phase; 20 teachers in English First Additional Language (EFAL) and 32 in Foundation Phase).
This partnership between the Northern Cape Department of Education and SIOC-cdt has been extended for the period 2015-2018 at a monetary value of R26m over the same period. A new cohort of 108 teachers stand to benefit from this partnership i.e. a total of 36 teachers will register for a B.Ed Degree in each of the following :Mathematics Further Education and Training Phase, English First Additional Language and the Foundation Phase .
Much criticisms has been levelled against short Professional Teacher Development programmes as well as the cascading model commonly referred to as the ‘train the trainer’ approach. This resulted in the implementation of the 1+4 model which is an initiative that seeks to bring an end to short courses. It ushers in a totally new approach to Continuing Professional Teacher Professional Development.
The model effectively makes provision for teachers to be trained on subject content and methodology for one day of the week in a workshop setting. The remainder of the week will be spent at school teaching. The immediate focus of the 1+4 model is Mathematics teachers in the Senior Phase (Grades 7-9). We shall be monitoring the implementation of the model closely so as to record all lessons learnt to inform further enhancement of our most prized asset….our teachers.
Pursuant to the objectives of the National Education Collaboration Framework Trust, we launched the Programme for Improving Learner Outcomes (PILO) on the 4th November 2014 in Kuruman under the theme ‘A re Tokafatseng Seemo sa Thuto’.PILO is one of the strategic vehicles through which we leverage supplementary funding and managerial expertise to enhance the realisation of our core business in a more integrated way.
In the main, the programme targets subject advisors and school management teams to effectively support teachers in curriculum delivery. It aims at improving learner outcomes by institutionalising standard operation procedures and routineat school level.
Accordingly, the Programme for Improving Learner Outcomes focuses at the core i.e. the ‘what’ and ‘how’ to attain sustainable learner performance across the grades. This approach locates accountability and responsibility for effective management of curriculum delivery right where it should be, at school level.
The programme is currently being implemented only in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district. Term specific curriculum toolkits are being developed and delivered to all schools within the district. These curriculum toolkits guide teachers on daily curriculum coverage for a specific term. The Programme for Improving Learner Outcomes is a partnership between the Northern Cape Department of Education and SIOC-cdt.
Teacher Development Programme 2015/2016
What is still to happen in this financial year is: