Teachers getting attention: Surty
Cape Town - The basic education department is to follow a "more scripted" approach to teacher development, Deputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty said on Tuesday.
Briefing the media following Cabinet's recent lekgotla, he said the first annual national assessments (ANA) had provided the department with important information that was assisting in identifying areas where urgent attention was required to help improve pupils' success levels.
The department had trained subject advisers and provinces were continuing with teacher training, he said.
"Based on what the ANA results show, there would be a more scripted approach to teacher development.
"This will include training and support to teachers to help them manage and use efficient methods to teach specific content areas that the assessment has shown to be particularly challenging to learners."
Teachers were central to the success of the new approach the department was adopting.
"Here the focus is firmly on more targeted, subject-specific teacher education and development that will improve teacher content knowledge.
"DBE is also strengthening the campaign to attract young people to the teaching profession through our Funza Lushaka Bursary programme. From the 1st September we embark on a recruitment campaign to recruit the best of young people to the teaching profession," Surty said.
In addition, as part of the efforts to strengthen accountability in the system, the department was working closely with the Education Labour Relations Council to develop performance management contracts with principals and deputy principals.
Effective school management and leadership were key factors in ensuring effective schooling, he said.
The department was strongly looking at strengthening even the appointment procedures for school principals.
All principals and deputy principals would enter into performance contracts in future with clear performance targets.
This would help strengthen accountability in schools at two levels.
Furthermore, district support for schools, that was often poor or lacking, would be strengthened.
Lekgotla resolutions on basic education included accelerating provision of universal basic services, including eradication of infrastructure backlogs, provision of sporting facilities, and national planning and procurement for provision of infrastructure, textbooks, and stationery.
Also, improving monitoring, support, and accountability in the schooling system, including mechanisms for improved teacher accountability, and involvement in school improvement activities, Surty said.