Programme 1: District Improvement Programme

The DIP aims to improve the quality of teaching, learning and management of schools as well as the effectiveness of the support and monitoring services provided to schools by the districts, with a view to replicating the programme and lessons learned during implementation in other districts and provinces. The DIP is currently being implemented in eight out of the initial 21 target districts identified for intervention and support.

The eight districts are:

  • Libode (Eastern Cape)
  • Mount Frere (Eastern Cape)
  • Pinetown (KwaZulu-Natal)
  • uThungulu (KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Waterberg (Limpopo)
  • Vhembe (Limpopo)
  • Bojanala (North West)
  • Bohlabela (Mpumalanga)

The target districts comprise a total of 4362 schools, 66 000 teachers and nearly 2 million learners, and make up 10% of all districts, 18% of schools and 18% of teachers. Since January 2014, the innovations and approaches of the NECT have been tested in 415 Fresh Start Schools (FSS), where high dosage intervention and support is provided. The FSS serve as sites for testing the innovative approaches and intervention models before system-wide replication and institutionalisation. The DIP accounted for over 90% of the NECT’s expenditure in 2014 and 2015.

The DIP has five focus areas:

Teacher Professionalisation

This component of Programme 1 is aimed at building curriculum management and delivery capacity in mathematics, science and languages, and at preparing teachers to assist in the management of learners’ welfare needs. The NECTs teacher development strategy, Learning Programmes, focuses on supporting teachers to effectively deliver the CAPS curriculum. This is done through a standardised, routinised year-long programme which entails quarterly training, resource inputs such as teacher support toolkits and in-school support.

School Management and Leadership

The school management and leadership component of Programme 1 aims to build the capacity of school principals towards courageous leadership, effective management and the proper monitoring of curriculum delivery. Members of School Management Teams (SMTs) receive quarterly training and support on the Learning Programmes and on courageous leadership, and are provided with tools to develop self-assessment systems in schools.

District Development

District development is aimed at building the capacity of subject advisors and circuit managers in the eight district offices, with a view to supporting schools so that principals, heads of departments (HODs) and teachers perform effectively and their performance results in the improved achievement and success of learners at all levels. Mathematics, science and languages subject advisors receive quarterly training and support on the Learning Programmes and work together with NECT curriculum coaches to provide effective support to schools.

Parent and Community Involvement

The parental and community involvement component aims to: empower parents to support their children’s learning; promote volunteerism among parents and community members in supporting the activities of the school; and increase the use of community resources for the welfare and development of learners. The Parent involvement component produced a Parent-Community Engagement Framework with a number of easy to access, replicable guides and mini-modules.

Learner Welfare and Support

The purpose of NECT interventions in learner welfare and development is to ensure that schools serve as nurturing environments for all learners to grow, develop and achieve, empowering learners to take responsibility for their learning and their lives. The learner welfare component has produced six learner development modules aimed at raising learners’ awareness of the importance of education and how they can play a greater role in education improvement.

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