Recently SchoolNet facilitated an extremely successful five day DBE Teacher Centre Managers training in Johannesburg. Representatives from 131 centres spread across all nine provinces arrived at Southern Suns O R Tambo for a week-long workshop from August 10th – 15th 2014. The purpose of the training programme was to explore a range of issues related to the functioning and management of Teacher Centres in all provinces in South Africa.
The programme was designed to expose participants to the latest relevant policy documents, particularly the draft Norms and Standards for Provincial Teacher Development institutes and District Teacher Development Centres. The intended outcome was for workshop participants to provide informed input to this policy.
The Integrated Strategic Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa (ISFTED) is central to the establishment of the PTDIs and DTDCs and was therefore also on the agenda to be interrogated. According to the plan, teacher education and development at the local level is going to rely on Teacher Centres which will become the vehicle through which, the DBE will achieve Goal 16 of Action Plan 2014. Goal 16 concerns the professionalism, teaching skills, subject knowledge and computer literacy of educators.
In order to develop and manage the system through which the development needs of teachers can be identified and addressed, the DBE has already established the National Institute for Curriculum and Professional Development. The members of the NICPD were at the forefront of initiating and monitoring this week’s workshop programme which was designed to expose Teacher Centre staff to the range of policy documents that affect their roles and responsibilities and very specifically to encourage input into the Draft Norms and Standards for Teacher Centres. Another focus for the workshop was the use of technology and more specifically the integrated use of ICT in education. Therefore SchoolNet SA was commissioned to collaborate with the NICPD in order to design and deliver the Teacher Centre manual and training.
Delegates were made fully aware of the strategic plans of the Department in relation to the improvement of teaching and learning country wide; details around the roles of both Provincial and District Teacher Development Institutes and Centres were fully explored as was the establishment of Professional Learning Communities – both physical and virtual.
SchoolNet SA has been working with ICT Resource Centres supported by the Vodacom Foundation for the past three year and we were grateful to Vodacom Foundation for covering the costs of SchoolNet SA developing materials for this training session; producing the materials and facilitating the five day workshop. We also look forward to the remaining component of this project which is to provide support and mentoring to the delegates and to visit selected Teacher Centres across all nine provinces to see the impact of the training first-hand.
Address by the national Minister for Basic Education
On Sunday August 10th the Minister of Basic Education Ms Angie Motshekga MP addressed all delegates to the workshop. The Minister was clear in her message that teachers are central to the planned radical transformation of education that the Department is striving towards. The government is determined to advance economic empowerment and break the cycle of poverty. Furthermore she explained that centre managers need to be proficient because their Teacher Centres were to be crucial to teacher training policy as outlined in the National Strategic Framework for Teacher Education and Development. The minister expressed gratitude to Vodacom for supporting this national education initiative and it was appropriate that Mr Tengimfene of Vodacom spoke next and confirmed their commitment to developments in the national teacher education process.
The full report on the workshop can be read here.