THE NPC/Intercement cement company, which has a factory at Simuma, is aware that South Africans need educated, informed teachers to build their country and has decided to do something about it.
It is involved in a three-year project that started last year and that assists teachers by offering them informative workshops run by the cement company’s project partner, the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME).
The Department of Basic Education’s Ugu District is also involved in the project. As it aims to build strong foundations for learning in the lower grades, the project’s 2017 focus will continue to be on providing training and support for maths and English teachers in grades 4 to 6.
Early last year when NPC/Intercement decided to invest in education as part of its corporate social investment programme, it approached the Ugu Educational District.
Those involved in the social investment proposal were keen deliver a local education initiative that would be embedded in the work of the district and would provide additional support to schools in the area.
Together the district and NPC/InterCement designed a teacher development programme to support maths grade 4 to 6, or intermediate phase, teachers as this was the phase identified as being the most in need of intervention. In February last year they approached CASME and asked it to support the implementation of the programme.
Together they devised a three-year project implementation plan that includes training workshops, held at the start of each term, for intermediate phase maths teachers. The workshops focus on mathematical content across the intermediate phase grades and on teaching skills training.
Teachers are also given manuals to help them design and implement lesson plans. The training model also allows the teachers to share their newly acquired knowledge with their colleagues.
A programme to support English teachers has also been implemented. It will build on the five-day training that was recently provided to intermediate phase teachers by the British Council. The workshops began in September 2016.
The Ugu Educational District has welcomed this programme and is already seeing some positive results. Teachers’ skills have been enhanced and they have gained confidence. Principals have already noticed an improvement.
So far 277 of 502 maths teachers earmarked for the project have already attended mathematics workshops. All Ugu Educational District intermediate English teachers, about 600, are involved in the programme and will eventually benefit from workshops.
“The NPC Intercement and CASME workshops provide high quality workshop materials and quality facilitation that includes motivation for teachers to do their best to ensuring quality learning and teaching,” said Ugu District spokesman, Nozipho Mbotho.
The district was confident it would see an improvement in the teaching of the two targeted subject and in all subjects taught in English, she added.
This article originally appears in the South Coast Herald:
On 6th and 7th March 2017, the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME), hosted the first workshop in its Knowledge Sharing Seminar (KSS) Series.
The KSS Series aims to provide timely, accessible, and relevant capacity-building workshops for education and development Non-Governmental Organisations/Non-Profit Organisations (NGO/NPOs).
Having worked in the education sector for over 30 years, CASME identified a need to strengthen local capabilities and talent both within the sector and within their own organisation. The KSS Series thus aims to broaden knowledge, deepen skills development, and create a space for peers to come together to network and to learn from one another.
The KSS Series will feature one event per month over the next six months, with topics ranging from how to use creative data visualisation techniques, to how to leverage social media for fundraising and marketing. The event programme also includes a seminar on Excel for beginners, a project management refresher session, and a workshop on how to utilise open source tools for NGO/NPOs. By leveraging their partnerships and networks, CASME is committed to drawing on sector expertise to facilitate quality sessions, whilst keeping the seminar registration costs to a minimum.
The first workshop in the KSS Series, entitled: Monitoring and Evaluation 101, provided participants with an introductory overview of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) processes and tools. The 2-day event was generously funded by the Zenex Foundation, and the donated funds were used to invite Benita Williams and Daleen Botha of Benita Williams Evaluation Consultants to facilitate the workshop.
The 26 participants who attended this first workshop came from a range of local organisations.
Overall, the workshop was a great success and the participants acknowledged the relevance and importance of M&E. This first KSS Seminar provided a comprehensive overview of M&E, which will assist the participants in managing, implementing and reporting on their programmes more effectively and efficiently. CASME would like to sincerely thank the Zenex Foundation for funding the event and for their ongoing support.