Teachers getting attention: Surty

2011-08-23 17:22

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.

  • PlainTruth - 2011-08-23 18:15

    Now they are going to develop the teeeshas. You cannot develop those that do not want to be helped. It must be something that they want. Maybe teach them to climb trees again

      cliffarc - 2011-08-23 19:29

      - Wow , it took them 17 years to realise this.

  • Chika01 - 2011-08-23 21:26

    The current system does not teach pupils the basic language or mathematical rules. This would be a great place to start. the OBE system is great but was developed to teach children who already have a firm grasp on language and numerecy when they enter school, the system is supposed to teach the kids true logical deduction on their part, unfortunately in SA most homes are largely illiterate. A compusery grade R needs to be intetuted and night classes for parents is a must. A well rounded pupil needs the home enviroment to encourage teatcing but with illiterate parent this is not possible. The problem lies with the gov. OBE is a great system but you should have first lain the foundation for the system. Most teatchers are commited and love the kids but lets be honest what can a teatcher do with a Gr 5 class of 52 where half stuggle to read.

  • warshrike - 2011-08-24 02:46

    Nice thoughts. Training special subject advisors? Well, first off, I would suggest increasing teacher training colleges instead of closing them thereby improving teacher competency and efficiency. Next, review OBE, especially in SA. There isn't a foundation to build on. In any event, if one looks at some of the 'projects' learners have to do, the parents more often than not end up doing the work. So, what are the pupils learning? Then, fix this unspoken 30% pass rate. If a pupil doesn't study, or grasp content, well then they must stay behind and work until they do. This will ensure they are ready for tertiary education and the fact that they pass means they actually know something. Do something about discipline - it doesn't exist!! Pupils talk to teachers like they want to and act like they want to. It's disgusting and sad. Education and respect for teachers used to mean somethng. Now its a joke. Standards must be raised and achieved through competent teachers, appropriate learning content, and discipline. Of course principal accountablity is also important - don't try to look good by just passing kids and providing numbers. Sure facilities and infrastructure are important, but then so is mindset and training. Ahh, a frustrating topic... All the best.

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