Training for teachers paramount

2015-07-22 06:01
THE deputy minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty (far left), with teachers that attended training on the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (Caps) for Technical Schools at the Production Management Institute Centre in Welkom. From the lef

THE deputy minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty (far left), with teachers that attended training on the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (Caps) for Technical Schools at the Production Management Institute Centre in Welkom. From the lef

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THE deputy minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty, believes further training for teachers in technical and engineering skills is critical in addressing the huge challenge of a lack of technical and engineering skills facing South Africa.

He was speaking last Wednesday (15/07) in the wake of teachers’ capacity training on Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (Caps) for Technical Schools at the Production Management Institute (PIM), a centre offering training in technical and engineering skills in Welkom. The centre in Welkom has also offered training on technical skills capacity to over 90 candidates from Nigeria since 2013.

About 100 teachers offering technical subjects in schools in the Free State and Northern Cape completed a week-long training session held from 13 to 17 July. The training was aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of teachers in technical schools in the two respective provinces ensuring they were prepared to impart knowledge in technical and engineering skills to learners who pursued technical and engineering careers. The training of teachers followed the introduction of Caps by the Department of Basic Education. The programme has been introduced in phases in schools from 2013 starting in gr. 4 to gr. 9 followed by gr. 10 to gr. 12.

“Training of teachers in schools is very critical. What we are doing at schools through training teachers in technical skills is meant to complement what is being done in skills technical training and broadening the base in technical and engineering skills which can contribute positively to the massive demand for people with technical skills. We need human capacity, teachers in different fields – civil, electrical and mechanical and so on – more than 2 000 in the country with technical and engineering skills, to address the challenge of skills shortages in the technical field,” said Surty.

Surty strongly emphasised that South Africa had to move at a very rapid pace in order to address the issues of a lack of technical and engineering skills. “In terms of our immediate skills requirement, we have to speed up the process. I’m happy that we are working very closely with the Department of Higher Education and Training. The enrolment of over 500 000 students in Technical Vocational Education and Training over the last four years is testimony to and signifies the importance of training in technical and engineering fields. These centres have assigned this term as the era of artisans in the various fields,” said Surty.

Surty blames the technical and engineering skills shortage in South Africa on the previous regime. He was replying to a question of whether the current South African government neglected the significance of technical and engineering skills which has resulted in the importation of engineers – with the Free State government as the front-runner having recruited 40 engineers from Cuba. “South Africa has had enormous challenges, where the privileged sector had all the best resources meant for the few. Now we have to spread resources all over to address the backlog in technical and engineering skills,” said Surty

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