schooling

SA’s Teacher Evaluation Failed, Motshekga

Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, says the current system for the evaluation of teachers in South Africa’s schools has failed and a new model, possibly including the idea, despised by trade unions, of returning to an inspectorate, has to be developed.

Motshekga says the existing integrated quality management system and its associated development appraisal system will be retained for now because they are the only tools available to assess teachers.

Gauteng Online for Most Gauteng Schools

Eight years, hundreds of millions of rands and six companies later, by the end of the month most schools will have Gauteng Online.

This is according to SMMT Online executive chairperson, Tebogo Mogashoa. Mogashoa says they have connected 1 365 of 2042 schools, adding that, “Our target for November is 1500 schools. There are 157 schools with structural defects that the education department has to sort out.”

2010 Education Changes

From next year, pupils across the country will do fewer projects, and teachers' workloads will be reduced, as a result of the changes the Department of Basic Education is making to the National Education Curriculum.

However, Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg says that many of the problems in education were not necessarily because of the curriculum.

More Teachers for Poor Schools

South Africa's poorest pupils could soon enjoy the luxury of smaller classes if a plan by minister of basic education, Angie Motshekga, is implemented.

Motshekga is considering an alternative staffing model for schools, which involves allocating proportionally more teaching posts to schools serving the most impoverished pupils.

She confirmed that she is studying a model that will distribute teaching posts according to the actual class size per grade, the size of the school and its curriculum requirements.

ICT: Policy and Regulatory Management

The School of Public and Development Management at the University of the Witwatersrand invites applications for a postgraduate degree in Information Communication Technology: Policy and Regulatory Management for 2010.

The course will empower participants on policy regulation in the information and communication technology sector.

Closing date for applications: 30 November 2009

Idasa: Right to Know, Right to Education

Idasa is hosting a discussion forum on the Right to Know, Right to Education on 9 October 2009 in Cape Town.

Presenters are Richard Calland (Idasa) and Martin Sigal (ACIJ) in Argentina). A documentary entitled ‘The South also Exists: Education Inequalities in the City of Buenos Aires’ will be screened followed by a cocktail party.

The documentary, by JUNCO films, presents compelling information on inequality in the educational system in Argentina and illustrates the socio-economic discrimination within school system in the country.

Motshekga Withdraws Proposal Over Marks

Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, has withdrawn a proposal that was understood to mean matriculants could achieve a distinction by attaining an average of 70 percent instead of 80 percent. This is according to her adviser, Panyaza Lesufi.

The proposal, put in a government gazette for public comment on 29 August 2009, was withdrawn from the department’s website after Motshekga was caught off guard by questions on the proposal and said she knew nothing of it.

Functional School Libraries are a Necessity

In December 2007, the board of the International Association of School Libraries (IASL) declared October as the international School Library month. The adoption coincided with the maiden decade celebration of the contribution of school libraries. The theme for 2009 is “School libraries: the Big Picture”. The significance accorded by IASL to the contribution of school libraries in improving the educational performance of pupils and the attainment of one the key objectives of the UN Millennium Development Goals cannot be over-emphasised.

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Literacy Alone is Not Enough

We would be appalled if someone waved a magic wand and took away our literacy. We cannot understand how others may not recognise the value of literacy.

But not everyone wants to be literate – or not enough to take time away from the daily earn-your-living challenge. When one literacy promoter invited poor rural women walking along an Ndwedwe road to join adult literacy classes, she was amazed to be told, “Yes, we will come to your school. How much will you pay us?”

Using ICT to Develop Literacy

Using ICT to Develop Literacy aims to provide a concise overview of the literacy issue and explain how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be used to enhance literacy education and contribute to achieving the Literacy Decade goals. The booklet focuses on five areas where ICT can be utilised in literacy education: enhancing learning; raising access to literacy education; training of teachers; localising content; and creating a literacy-conducive environment. The booklet also contains examples of the use of ICT in literacy education.

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