Why education colleges should be re-opened

2008-04-26 00:00

A small report in The Witness, April 24, drew my attention: “the National Department of Education is considering re-establishing colleges of education”. I wonder why? The whole college sector was phased out from 1997, with a few colleges incorporated into universities. Two main reasons were given: colleges were very expensive and most delivered poor-quality teacher education. The future of teacher education lay with higher education.

My second reason is that very few student teachers are now specialising in foundation phase. Those students who do are predominantly white, which means that home language instruction for African children in the foundation phase is seriously threatened. The universities have clearly been unable to promote the training of foundation phase teachers, particularly teachers who are able to teach initial reading, numeracy and life skills in the home language of their pupils.

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