Prioritising Teacher Professionalisation in North West

The NECT launches training workshops aimed at creating professional teachers through improved curriculum coverage plans, subject content, pedagogy and classroom practice.

The importance of having a professional and committed teaching service is crucial for improved education outcomes in South Africa. The National Development Plan (NDP) states that “teachers are central to education and teaching should be a high valued profession”. Through the Education Collaboration Framework (ECF), a framework for multi-stakeholder collaboration, the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) is committed to supporting government, training teachers and to providing classroom support.

Between 11 - 12 August 2015, Rustenburg played host to a two-day teacher training workshop for Fresh Start School (FSS) teachers. It was attended by teachers from 54 different FSSs comprising of 38 primary and 16 high school teachers, and forms part of the NECT’s Learning Programme and aims to address the broader objective of professionalising teaching. 

The workshop focussed on home languages, maths and science subjects, as well as unmotivated and under-skilled teachers. It covered new techniques on how to interact and engage effectively with learners, which were discussed and taught by experienced NECT facilitators.

Through the Learning Programmes, specific efforts are being made to promote a new teaching and learning culture in schools driven through teacher and management toolkits. These toolkits comprise lesson plans and monitoring tools for both teachers and school managers. They aim to structure learning and teaching activities in every classroom, thereby routinising in-class and school learning, and teaching activities.  

The NECT’s flagship Fresh Start Schools Programme assists schools that are in need of critical intervention. This programme recognises that every learner can be successful despite their personal circumstances and impacts on the ways in which principals lead schools, how staff is held accountable and how teachers plan and deliver their lessons. 

To kick-start the training, Bheki Mthiyane, NECT Project Manager, welcomed the teachers by saying: “This project is in your hands; you can make a difference in education.”

Going back to basics

In the same spirit of improving education in North West, the NECT teacher support team is going back to basics. The team is reintroducing extramural activities in schools to redirect learner behaviour to fun activities and lessen their exposure to drug abuse and other destructive behaviours. 

On 25 August, Learner Support Coach Goitseona Modisane from the NECT visited Ikgomotseng Secondary School in David Kadnagell Village situated in Moses Kotane West, which is part of the FSS programme.

There has been some evidence of decline in extramural activities in schools in the province, which is why the FSS programme reintroduced non-academic activities. As part of the NECT initiative, regular workshops are held where learners are coached, mentored and motivated to take part in extramural activities such as sports. Coach Modisane hosted the Representative Council of Learners (RCLs) and the School-Based Support Team (SBST) which comprises parents, teachers and learner structures focussing on learner welfare.

The reason for this workshop according to Modisane “is to allow students to get involved in diverse interests, relax their minds, raise self-esteem, build strong relationships, and explore their talents. Those could be in a form of dance, music, art, and sports”.

Modisane believes that as learners actively participate in these activities, they will be motivated to attend school, not just for the purpose of reading and writing, but to enjoying their time on school premises.

The NECT will be monitoring the outcome of the workshops and the success of their implementation through monthly feedback. Together with the Department of Basic Education, the NECT looks forward to revolutionising education through hosting additional workshops in the future, with the aim of meeting the National Development Plan’s (NDP) education objectives.

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