Changes to schooling in 2010

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cape Town - A series of changes are set to come into effect from January 2010 to simplify the administrative functions that teachers are responsible for that do not have a major bearing on their teaching and to provide more support to them.

Government has moved with speed to respond to the recommendations of the recently published Report on the Implementation of the National Curriculum Statement by the task team that highlighted various challenges to quality curriculum delivery.

"Our focus is to strengthen curriculum delivery and thus we have identified those steps that can be taken immediately to streamline delivery and others that will take slightly longer to implement," Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Tuesday. She was reporting on the progress made in government's Human Development cluster.

As such, a series of changes will come into effect in 2010.

The changes include discontinuing the use of portfolios for learners of all grades from next year; keeping only one file for administrative purposes from teachers; reduce the number of projects required by learners; developing Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements for each grade in each year for implementation in 2011; reducing the number of learning areas in the Intermediate Phase; emphasizing the use of English from as early as possible and clarifying the role of subject advisers.

Motshekga said to support these interventions, government would ensure that The Foundations for Learning - a programme for the foundation and intermediate Phase (Grades R-6) will be implemented in all schools in 2010.

"Extensive learning and teaching packs for grades R to 6 teachers have been developed that will assist teachers with planning, teaching and learning. These packs will be distributed to all primary schools for the start of the school year in January 2010," the minister said.

For Grade R, the packs will include lesson plans for teachers for literacy, numeracy and life skills as well as learners' workbooks, poster and story resource books.

For Grades one to three, the workbooks will target literacy and numeracy next year, while those for grades four to six will include workbooks for learners for language and mathematics.

The Presidency has allocated R524 million to ensure that learners from Grades one to six are able to receive workbooks for numeracy and literacy for next year.

Motshekga said the department was also looking at the feasibility of implementing a tool by which it could monitor teachers and pointed out that this might be a mix of a development-type approach and an inspectorate type approach.