The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and its schooling communities face many challenges. These include, among others, staff shortages, undesirable learner-teacher ratios, overcrowding, socio-economic imbalances, gangsterism, drugs, ill-discipline and particularly of late, sexual abuse, violent behaviour, as well as social media abuse.
The above results in high drop-out-rates, demotivated teachers, high rates of absenteeism among educators and learners alike, poor learner outcomes and results, as well as generally dysfunctional schools.
In short, many learners in the Western Cape are not reading, writing and calculating at the required levels for further education and employment. They leave school without basic language and numeracy skills which are pivotal to them becoming responsible active citizens, both within the societies that they live as well as our country.
The T2P strategy is an integrated approach by the WCED’s Executive Committee (EXCO), to counter the erosion of Education by developing a values-driven mindset of self-belief and self-value within of all role players (learners, teachers, parents and officials, including leadership and top management) in the province. We believe that the shift in belief or motivation; a shift in values and mindsets, should result in improved behaviour and performance by all stakeholders - not to mention improved results!
The National Development Plan (NDP) lists “[improving] the quality of school education” as one of its objectives. The World Bank too places a focus on quality education in schools with a point of entry being the understanding and application of behavioural insights to boost socio-emotional skills that aims to: reduce delinquency and drop-out rates; increase motivation; harness cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other measures; improve social cohesion; and improve measures of self-control and self-esteem which reduces violence and criminal behaviour.
The role of education has had a fundamental shift in global expectation from knowledge-growth and skills development, to becoming an instrument of poverty alleviation and global reduction in illiteracy as laid out in the United Nation Organisation’s (UNO) and World Millennium Goals (WMG) of which South Africa was a willing signatory. These goals align with the country’s National Development Plan which states that “by 2030 we seek to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality”. The pressure placed on education by the latter commitment to the global agenda is enormous, particularly in the light of the national fiscal constraints from which the Western Cape cannot escape.
The WCED serves a community of more than 1 million learners, 30 000 officials and countless parents and guardians.
As a province, the Western Cape: records the highest gang and drug related incidents; had an influx of over 20 000 learners from other provinces in 2016 without the funding to support and develop the educational infra-structure needed; receives the smallest portion of the provincial budget; has of the highest learner: teacher ratios, and yet, consistently produces of the best academic performers and performances in the country while retaining more learners in the schooling system than other provinces.
The social contexts within which our learners live, and our teachers teach, have had a profound impact on the psyche and physical well-being of the teachers and learners. This can be evidenced in an increase in the number of violent incidents at school, including violence against teachers, high absenteeism (teacher and learner), poor academic performance, apathy, low staff morale, high learner and teacher attrition, emotional disconnect, general burnout and resistance.
It is within this context that the Superintendent General (SG) along with the Executive Committee (EXCO) of the WCED, have recognised the need to shift the hearts and minds of all officials, teachers, learners, parents and communities to varying degrees.
This has led to the development of the Transform to Perform Strategy as an integral part of its Strategic Framework.
The Transform to Perform Strategy is based on the understanding of the fundamental shift in global expectation on the role of education and the contribution it makes to transforming society. It addresses the attitude and values which influence the actions and behaviours of all layers within the education system and, consequently, the culture within which education operates in this province.
The strategy is designed in conjunction with the Strategic Vision and objectives of the WCED to incorporate all aspects related to the transformation of the mindset of all officials, teachers, learners and parents. To effect sustainable change, all levels of WCED officials (both corporate and curriculum) must be exposed to an understanding of the fundamental shift in global expectation, their role in education and the contribution they make to transforming society. The shift in motivation and mindset should result in improved performance of all stakeholders to this strategy.
Against the backdrop of the multitude of challenges that the WCED faces, it has decided to radically change its organisational culture to one of being a values-driven organisation with a clear vision – namely
Quality education for every child, in every classroom, in every school in the province
To bolster its vision, the WCED has adopted six core values to spearhead its values-driven initiative
Over the last several years, the WCED, in its determination to become a values-driven organisation, has initiated several culture change initiatives – all laying the foundation for T2P as an integrated multi-pronged strategy.
Adopting a values-driven theme each year:
2017: Year of the Teacher
The Year of the Teacher was a key theme and raised the status of the teacher in the teaching community and general public. This was a celebration of teachers as our most important resource and reflected on the importance of professionalism in the classroom.
2018: The Year of Values-Driven Learning
The Year of Values-Driven Learning focused on the application of values, values-driven behaviour and accountability across all schools and the organisation.
Already in 2016, six core values had been identified: Caring, Competence, Accountability, Integrity, Innovation and Responsiveness. The celebration of our excellent teachers remained a sub theme of 2018 to maintain the momentum gained in 2017 as the Year of the Teacher; hence 2019 was declared as
2019: The Year of the Learner - developing a values mindset
The theme for 2019 encourages us to continue our conversations with our learners on values as we are all aware of the behavioural and social challenges our learners face - both at school and at home. Their challenges often have a negative impact on teaching and learning. Dedicating a year to the learner aims to give them hope, make learning opportunities fun and instil and restore their belief in themselves!
2020: The Year of Functional Schools - developing a values-driven team
According to the WCED’s Superintendent General, Mr. Brian Schreuder, 2020’s theme “… continues to build on and celebrate [what he refers to as] the three pillars of the Transform to Perform Strategy, namely, the Teacher, Values and the Learner”.
He further encouraged all officials at Head Office to assist WCED schools to become more functional by “living out” values that we preach to schooling communities across the province.
2021: The Year of Values-driven Leadership – enhancing functional schools
The theme continues with functional schools as identified in the previous year, but this time with the emphasis on enhancing them through Values-driven leadership. In his final revelation as SG of the next year’s theme, Mr Schreuder said this about it on social media: “I am excited … May it contribute towards our vision for Quality Education for every child, in every classroom, in every school in the Province.”
Mantra for Learners
WCED is shifting systematically to become a values-driven organization embedded by the mantra “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve”, for all learners. The mantra strives to positively influence learners’ attitudes and is expected to be displayed at all educational institutions across the province.
Mantra for Educators and Officials
Similarly, the above mantras seek to positively influence attitudes and work ethic of educators and WCED officials. This mantra too must be displayed at all educational institutions in the province.
At its core, T2P is an integrated multi-pronged strategy aiming to transform thinking, promote knowledge and understanding, impact on character-building, social cohesion and nation-building and ultimately produce better results. Hence, it had become critical to develop a suitable identifier to house and refer to all things T2P.
Role of the Stakeholders
The above stakeholders are the entities that have been tasked to promote, and in some instances execute, the T2P strategy. Its success depends on their attitudes and actions. Effective communication ensures that they receive information that is relevant to their needs and level of interaction. It will also enhance the understanding of the strategy within the broader vision of the Western Cape Government.
Learners , Educators, School leaders, School Governing Body, parents, Community (religious organisations, local businesses, NGOs, sporting and cultural clubs)
All registered educator and public service unions
Department of Education, Department of Social Development, Department of Safety, Department of Health and all other departments that constitute Government.
Sponsor, Strategy driver, Programme manager, Project managers, Programme coordinator and Monitoring and Evaluation manager
SG, DDGs , CDs
Change Mindset for Teachers (CMT)
Change Mindset for Non-Teaching staff (CMNT)
Growth Mindset (GM)
Values in Education (ViE)
Leadership Development (LD)