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Tuesday, 23 July, 2002

WCED to launch new Institute for Teacher Development

Statement by André Gaum, Western Cape Education Minister

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) will launch a new Institute for In-service Teacher Development on 4 September 2002, to provide intensive skills development for teachers in the province.

Premier Marthinus van Schalkwyk announced yesterday (Monday, 22 July 2002) that the institute would offer its first course to about 50 teachers, followed by residential courses lasting 8 to 10 weeks for up to 100 courses at a time.

The launch of the new institute will be one of the highlights of the third term, which began yesterday (Monday 22 July 2002).

The new institute will play a major role in developing teaching skills in disadvantaged schools in particular.

We have found that short courses have not achieved the results we would have liked. We have therefore launched the institute to provide intensive training over longer periods. The courses will be residential, based at the Western Cape College of Education.

The WCED has appointed a consortium from the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch to provide the training, following a tender process that was launched in May this year. The department notified the consortium of its successful bid on 18 July 2002.

The consortium will work closely with the WCED’s Curriculum Development Directorate and Foundation Phase curriculum advisers in developing and finalising the first course, to be provided from 19 August to 26 September 2002.

The department has selected 50 teachers from 28 schools for the first course, and has informed all those concerned of the selection.

The WCED will require participating teachers to sign contracts covering the requirements of the course, and has provided for temporary teachers to take over the duties of teachers attending the course.

Meanwhile, other major developments this term will include steps towards finalising the merger of 13 technical colleges in the Western Cape into six Further Education and Training Institutions.

The process will include appointing college councils and advertising the posts of heads of these institutions.

The creation of the FET Institutions forms part of a national drive to restructure vocational and technical training in the country, to ensure that it meets the needs of learners and their future employers most effectively.

Other important, ongoing developments include our Telecommunications Project, which will link almost every school in the province to the internet by the end of the year (2002), and our Khanya and Dassie projects, which are developing innovative ways of delivering curriculum in our schools and FET Institutions.

We are continuing to roll out one of the largest HIV/AIDS projects in schools in the country. Highlights include training up to 5 000 peer educators in high schools, completing the training of primary school teachers, a training programme for high school teachers, and distribution of special training materials.

The start of the third term marks the beginning of a crucial phase in our teaching and learning programme. Schools will be under pressure to complete the curriculum this term, before heading for the final examinations in the fourth term.

The WCED will monitor the progress of the overall teaching programme carefully, as well as our many special interventions designed to address particular challenges.

These include, for example, our Learning Schools Project, which is seeking to improve results in schools that achieved a pass rate of less that 60% in the 2001 Senior Certificate examinations. The programme is also assisting other schools where they have asked for special assistance.

A total of 42 469 full-time and 4 816 part-time candidates have registered for the 2002 Senior Certificate examinations. A further 8 860 adult learners will write equivalent examinations at Adult Basic Education and Training Centres.

Candidates for the Senior Certificate examinations will start writing on 14 October 2002 and will complete these examinations by 22 November 2002. The WCED will release the results for these examinations by the end of December.

Now is the time for learners in all grades to focus on achieving the results they deserve in the end-of-year examinations. The examinations must reflect the potential of every learner.

Our matriculants in particular have entered the final straight in their school careers. I am appealing to all learners, especially those in matric, to use this term to consolidate their studies, to ensure that they obtain their best possible results.

My message to all learners is the following: now is the time to put education first, so that you can all break through to a better future.

Issued by:
The Communications Directorate
Western Cape Education Department
Private Bag X9114
Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 467-2531
Fax: (021) 467-2363
Email: pattwell@pawc.wcape.gov.za
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