Pact set to improve quality of teaching

Pretoria - The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) has entered into a collaboration with teacher unions to find practical solutions to improve the quality of learning in schools.

The first union to finalise the partnership with NECT is the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU).

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has commended the steps being taken to improve the quality of teaching.

“This programme will improve teachers’ subject knowledge as well as inculcate effective daily teaching routines critical for quality education,” the Minister said.

Eastern Cape, Limpopo in project first phase

NECT on Tuesday said the first phase of the partnership with SADTU will take place in Butterworth district in the Eastern Cape and Sekhukhune district in Limpopo.

The collaboration targets 348 primary and secondary schools in Butterworth district and 437 primary and combined schools in Sekhukhune.

NECT Chief Executive Officer Godwin Khosa said the collaboration aims to start small with pilots and then gradually take feasible, affordable and sustainable innovations to scale.

Khosa said the collaboration stems from a demand for assistance from stakeholders in the teaching fraternity.

“The collaboration is a direct response to demand driven interventions from teachers, School Management Teams (SMTs) and district officials,” said Khosa.

The initiative will involve a total of 700 teachers - 390 from Limpopo and the balance from the Eastern Cape. 

The total number includes 160 primary school principals, and aims to also advance the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP) of 90% of learners mastering at least 50% of the curriculum by 2030, and creating a better balance between unionism and professionalism. 

SADTU will employ its own criteria to identify the relevant Lead Teachers and Principals to drive the initiative. Once this process has been finalised, NECT will step in to conduct the first level of training of Lead Teachers and Principals and also provide the materials (hard and soft copies to each Lead Teacher/Principal).

SADTU says the initiative is underpinned by collaboration principles that seek to, amongst others, promote co-creation in improving learning outcomes towards the achievement of the NDP goals.

The programme is in line with one of the strategies in SADTU’s 2030 Vision Pillars, which is servicing union members and creating a learning nation.

The trust said the collaboration will take forward SADTU’s already existing initiatives that are undertaken through its Curtis Nkondo Professional Development Institute.

In 2016, the institute trained 133 Intermediate Phase Lead Teachers. The Institute has since 2013 trained thousands of principals in School Management Training.

SADTU’s General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke said through this initiative, it will be possible to increase the core of Lead Teachers so that teacher professionalisation becomes teacher-driven at local level, thereby reducing dependence on Subject Advisors, who are already few in numbers. - SAnews.gov.za