Call to train maths teachers at weekends

2015-02-26 00:00

AN education union is recommending that the compulsory training for maths teachers take place on Saturdays and holidays, to minimise impact on teaching time.

National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) has called a proposal to train mathematic teachers during teaching hours as “unworkable”.

The plan, which was announced earlier this month by the Department of Basic Education (DBE), is expected to see Grade 8 and 9 mathematics teachers being compelled to attend training every Monday for up to 20 weeks or 80 hours a year. It is part of new sweeping reforms announced by Minister Angie Motshekga’s department to deal with the country’s shockingly low mathematic pass rates.

Unions have recognised the need for support and instead have made ­alternative recommendations that they train at weekends instead.

The 2014 Annual National Assessment, which assesses the competency of pupils countrywide, revealed in KZN’s Grade 9 that the pass rate for mathematics was just 11%, down 3,5% from the previous year.

The policy, referred to as “4+1 Model”, is the result of recommendations made by a special task team appointed by Motshekga to “investigate challenges that hamper performance in Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST)”.

But Naptosa president Basil Manuel said while the union believes that teachers and schools need greater support, taking teachers out of the classroom for up to a day a week will put even further pressure on an already stretched education system.

He said while the “policy on paper looks good” they are fighting the practical implementation.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union KZN secretary ­Nomarashiya Caluza said if the “4+1” regime was implemented it would could cause “chaos”.

“Firstly the methodology in how teachers are deployed to schools will need to be relooked at. Teachers are already overloaded and this policy will add further pressure.”

The policy is currently on hold due to union pressure.

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