The Department of Basic Education will go ahead with the implementation of the 1+4 teacher development plan aimed at boosting performance in the senior phase. Consultation at the Education Labour Relations Council has been completed and teacher unions have expressed support for the initiative.
The ELRC, a body consisting of all teacher unions, has agreed to among others decide on the implementation of the 1+4 Training programme for Maths Teachers. ELRC noted that Mpumalanga, North West and Eastern Cape had begun with the training and that these provinces cannot be made to stop. The council further decided as follows:
1.That the 1+4 be promoted as the best model to implement the project and monitoring sessions to be held every 3 months.
2. That the 1+5 is not a recommended model.
3.Lead Teachers will be remunerated for tuition in accordance to sub paragraph 2.1 of Chapter D of the PAM. Formula to be used is as follows: First salary position of range 8 (Notch code 108 ) divided by 900.
4. The Cost of subsistence and travel (S&T) for all participants in the 1+4 training will be reimbursed in terms of the S&T tariffs as determined by the DPSA and Department of Transport respectively from time to time.
5. Funding for provisions referred to in 3 and 4 above shall be provided for by the Provincial Education Departments.
6. CTU-ATU does not support the 1+4 model. (Council noted the position of CTU-ATU)
Implementation of the project can go ahead from 1 April 2015.
In recent years the performance of learners in Mathematics and levels of competency of Mathematics teachers in South Africa in Primary Schools has been under scrutiny. The recent Task Team that was appointed by the Minister of Basic Education to investigate challenges that hamper performance in Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) revealed that “MST educator capacity has been found to be wanting at all levels”.
The ‘1+4 Model’ is based on and supports the concept of the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) which the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Motshekga, launched on 07 August 2014. The added benefit of the ‘1+4 Model’ is that teachers meet on pre-determined working day. This methodology works on the assumption that teachers need assistance with the entire curriculum and not just certain sections of the curriculum which they presumably have difficulties teaching. We need to be extremely RADICAL and do the out of the normal in our determination to “SAVE OUR CHILDREN”.
The Methodology breaks each week into two parts. One day solely dedicated to thoroughly preparing teachers for the content to be delivered in that particular week. Teachers are presented with CONTENT broken-down into daily doses to be delivered in the other remaining four days of the week. They meet at a nearby school one day per week. This translates into a whopping 23 Days in a year dedicated to intensive training and discussions on mathematics content and methodology.
The training sessions that we have had up to now, which have yielded unsatisfactory results normally run for 10 days in a year. This RADICAL approach will expose teaches to 30 days of Training, Development and Support on a weekly basis.
This METHODOLOGY turns teachers into learners, promoting the principle of a teacher as a lifelong learner. ONE day of Learning and FOUR days of Structured, Effective and Guided Teaching. On Day 1 (e.g. each Monday as illustrated below), on arrival at the venue, teachers are exposed to a pre-test to assess their level of content knowledge of the section of the curriculum to be delivered on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the end of the day they are exposed to a post-test to assess how well they have grasped the content they must take to the learners in their respective classes in their schools.
High standards MUST be promoted at all times. It should be expected that teachers will obtain 80% and above in the post-test. Teachers obtaining less than 80% will be identified and support will be provided during the implementation in the week. Subject Advisors will be expected to assist these teachers through Classroom Support Visits to deepen their content knowledge to be provided that week.
These teachers will also be placed in Support Teams made up of Lead Teachers and other teachers who have demonstrated better understanding of the concepts. Heads of Departments, Deputy Principals and Principals in the schools will also have to play a critical role in supporting these teachers.
Removing mathematics teachers from their schools for about 23 Days in a school year to attend the work sessions implies that they will lose approximately 20 hours of teaching time per class per year ( 54 minutes per Day per class). In order to ensure that the 4.5hours instructional time allocated for the Senior Phase is covered and utilised fully, School Management Teams (SMTs) should adapt their time tables to support the model.
One of the possible ways would be to swop the Mathematics periods allocated for a Day on which teachers will be involved in the work session with the period(s) allocated to other subjects, e.g. Social Sciences. Essentially this means that Mathematics will not be taught on that Day and the Mathematics periods in the time table that were initially spread over five days will be spread over 4 days.
In instances where one Mathematics teacher teaches other subjects, e.g. Natural Sciences, the same approach should be adopted, i.e. swopping Natural Sciences periods with the periods allocated to the other subjects taught by another teacher.
Another approach to adapt the time tables is to allocate DOUBLE PERIODS on the remaining week days to compensate for teaching time lost while Mathematics teachers were SCHOOLED during the work session. By adopting this approach contact time will be protected by reallocating to another day. This will not affect the teachers of other subject as their contact time will be moved to the day when Mathematics teachers will be attending the work session. The DBE, after approval by CEM, will issue a circular to communicate the implications of introducing 1+4 Model and requesting SMTs to adapt their time tables accordingly.
Enquiries: Elijah Mhlanga – 083 580 8275
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION