The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) has entered into a collaboration with teacher unions, in an attempt to inter alia; find practical solutions to improve the quantity and quality of learning in schools. The first union to finalise the partnership with the NECT is the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU). The first phase of the partnership with SADTU will take place in two districts; Butterworth in the Eastern Cape and Sekhukhune in Limpopo.
The collaboration targets 348 primary and secondary schools in the first district and 437 primary and combined schools in the latter area.
NECT CEO Godwin Khosa explains that the collaboration aims; “To start small with pilots and then gradually take feasible, affordable and sustainable innovations to scale,” according to Khosa the collaboration owes its genesis to a demand from stakeholders in the teaching fraternity for assistance, “In that sense the collaboration is a direct response to demand driven interventions from teachers, SMTs and district officials.”
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 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, once this process has been finalised, the NECT will step in to conduct the first level training of Lead Teachers and Principals and also provide the materials: hard and soft copies to each Lead Teacher/Principal.
SADTU explains that 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: Servicing Union members and Creating a Learning Nation. It 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 says; “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.”
The Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga expressed her gratitude at the steps being taken by teacher unions in the professionalisation of teaching. She said; “This programme will improve teachers’ subject knowledge as well as inculcate effective daily teaching routines critical for quality education.”
Date: Wednesday 18 January 2017
Venue: Esther Maleka Comprehensive High School , Marble Hall, Limpopo
NECT: Shavana Mushwana 078 980 2604
SADTU: Nomusa Cembi 011 971 2000 / 082 719 5157