Dept to attract and retain teachers with R20 m


Kimberley – As part of the implementation of the teacher incentive policy, the Department of Education will spend R 20 million to attract and retain teachers in rural and farms schools. This amount will also go towards the retaining teachers in hard to teach schools and for scarce skills subjects.


More than 246 schools with 1089 teachers are benefiting from this initiative. About R 125 million has been spent by the Department of Education to enhance and invest in teacher development in the province over the past 5 years.


Over the past 5 years, the Department has prioritized teacher development and close to 3000 teachers have reaped the fruits of this programme with some having completed their studies with various universities.


While the National Development Plan (NDP) argues that in low-performing schools principals often do not fulfil their roles as leaders of the curriculum, the Department is hard at work to up-skill leadership and management at school levels to improved learner performance.


Teachers are a valuable asset and the most expensive resource in the education enterprise and therefore the inefficient management is a concern.  With regard to the strengthening of day to day management of teaching and learning in our primary schools, the Department is providing more focused ongoing support to teachers and identify critical subject content areas which form the focus of all teachers support.


During the 2010/11 financial year, R3.57 million was invested in teacher development which largely benefitted teachers from the John Taolo Gaetsewe District.  Most teachers during that year furthered their studies towards, Advanced Certificate in Education and Maths and Science and Technology. About 104 under-qualified teachers participated in the National Professional Diploma in Education as part of improving their qualifications. An additional 25 teachers were enrolled for a BSc degree at the University of KwaZulu Natal from a R 10,8 m funding from  BHP Billiton.


When the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) was introduced during the 2011/12 MTEF period, the Department injected an additional teacher development funding to the tune of R6.9 m. About 78 subject advisers for Grade 10 were trained on their roles and responsibilities in relation to CAPS implementation, to ensure that they have the requisite levels of competencies to monitor and provide on-going support to classroom based teachers.


Other focus areas of development of teachers was the foundation phase, this plan will focus on the application of literacy and numeracy workbooks, teaching of English First Additional Language (FAL), support to Grade R practitioners and strengthening literacy and numeracy teaching in Grades R – 3.


When the School Improvement and Development Programme (SIDP) was introduced during the 2012/13 financial year, about 2 679 teachers from 173 primary schools benefited. More than R 10, 6m was spent during this programme.


Last year, the department entered into a three-year agreement with the Sishen Iron Ore Community Development Trust (SIOC-cdt) and Rhodes University to mark a start of a development incubator for teachers.  The total investment for the programme over the three years is estimated at   R20, 4 million. A total number of 108 teachers from John Taolo Gaetsewe, Frances Baard and ZF Mgcawu districts have already enrolled for Bachelor of Education in Mathematics (B.Ed. Mathematics), Bachelor in English Language (B.Ed.ELT) and Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase (B.Ed.FP) respectively.