High bar set for maths teachers

2015-02-04 00:00

MATHS teachers who teach Grade 8 and 9 pupils will have to get 80% in their tests to complete their extra training, said Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

If they don’t get the required marks in their tests, they will get more training.

The training starts in the current semester, said Mhlanga.

This follows an announcement by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, that Grade 8 and 9 maths teachers will get 23 days of extra training during school hours on Mondays.

Maths teachers currently get only 10 days of training.

“High standards must be maintained at all times,” Mhlanga said.

The training will cost on average 20 hours of teaching per class over the year.

Mhlanga said schools must adapt their timetables for Mondays to support the teachers in the two grades.

Two suggestions on how principals could achieve this were to change subject periods so that maths will not be presented on Mondays, or to work in a double period of maths on another day of the week.

Lucas Viljoen, mentor of principals in rural schools and former chair of multicultural schools in Gauteng, said the plan was a knee-jerk reaction that would negate any hard-won culture of learning in rural schools especially.

“Taking the teachers out of the class room sends the wrong message. Rather get the teachers to spend four full Saturdays over three months to work through the training,” Viljoen said.

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