SA marks World Teachers' Day

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mafikeng - South Africa joined the rest of the world today to honour the role and importance of teachers in the classroom and society, on World Teacher's Day.

Celebrated annually on 5 October across the world, the day aims to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation for the contribution teachers make to education and development across the globe.

In South Africa, various provincial education departments are hosting events to acknowledge the role that educators play in shaping the future of learners.

The National Education Department has called on schools to enter their teachers for the National Teaching Awards to be held at the end of the month.

World Teachers Day comes at a time when South African teachers are about to get a reprieve from paperwork so that they can get on with the business of teaching.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her nine provincial counterparts last week endorsed the recommendations of an expert panel which found that many teachers are bogged down with administrative duties, instead of concentrating on the core job at hand.

The department is to further scrap the regular learner assessments, and learners will now only be assessed once a year.

The number of learning areas will also be reduced from eight to six, including two languages in the intermediate phase.

Motshekga said there were currently too many subjects in the intermediate phase, where learners shift from three learning areas in Grade 3 to nine in Grade 4.

Following a further recommendation by the task team, the minister has decided that English will be phased in at lower Grades, as almost 80 percent of learners present it as their first language in Grade 12.

Currently most provinces only introduce English as a subject in Grade 3 instead of Grade 1, as suggested in the National Curriculum Statement policy.