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TDCM Lekgotla deliberates the repositioning and enhancement of the Curriculum

A Teacher Development and Curriculum Management (TDCM) Lekgotla took place at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Kempton Park under the theme: “Repositioning Curriculum Towards Vision 2030 and Beyond”. The main objective of the TDCM Lekgotla, which took place from 21 to 22 August 2019, was to explore new thinking in relation to Curriculum 2030. “It is necessary to develop implementable strategies to deliver on key sector priorities in a smarter and faster way, and to foreground language and reading as a core competency to enable learners to acquire foundational skills that would empower them to participate meaningfully in society,” explained Dr Mamiki Maboya, Deputy Director-General for Curriculum Policy, Support and Monitoring.

During the TCDM Lekgotla, presentations were made on rethinking learning outcomes; assessment; neuroscience, process thinking and meta-cognition; decolonisation; and skills for the future as South Africa moves towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Mr Joe Samuels, SAQA CEO spoke about the rethinking of learning outcomes, as well as the importance of assessment as a pedagogical reform tool in aligning intended and achieved learning outcomes. Dr Celia Booyse, Senior Manager at Umalusi advocated the need for an eco-systemic, holistic approach based on constructivist methodology to respect yourself, others and the environment and for curriculum design to be aligned to socio-political and ethical awareness for learners to become responsible citizens. The development of emotional intelligence, executive functioning and productive and innovative thinking practices will address issues such as bullying and aggression in schools. Dr Wiedaad Slemming, Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, cautioned that toxic stress, extreme neglect and poverty disrupts early brain formation and cognitive development. Dr Slemming emphasised the need for early intervention in the first 1000 days to improve learning outcomes but provided key areas for intervention and the role that education can play in ensuring success for every learner. 

Prof Rajendra Chetty from the University of Cape Town and Prof Leketi Makalela from the University of the Witwatersrand, addressed issues on decolonisation, epistemic access and language curriculum transformation. Ms Dirusha Ganapathy Juta, Managing Director from Beyond Transform shared a labour market perspective in terms of skills and jobs for the future. Prof Sarah Gravatt, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg, spoke about the importance for teachers and learners to acquire skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

A panel discussion, moderated by Dr Stephen Taylor, Director for Research Coordination Monitoring and Evaluation, unpacked the key question: “What must be done to ensure that every 10-year old can read for meaning by 2030?” Another panel discussion, facilitated by Ms Penny Vinjevold, Deputy Director-General for Curriculum, Eastern Cape, deliberated on what must be done to ensure that all 4 and 5-year olds have access to compulsory quality pre-school education.

During the second day of the Lekgotla, the delegates broke away into five commissions to discuss Early Childhood Development (ECD); Reading; Teacher Education and Development for the 21st Century; Skills and Competencies for the Future; and the Decolonisation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment. Strategies for the implementation of plans will be presented at the Council for Education Ministers (CEM) and Heads of Education Departments Committee Meeting (HEDCOM) going forward for the Sector Framework documents to be approved.

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