The Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP) offered support clinics from 3 -5 February to about 300 Grade 12 and novice Grade 12 teachers in the Northern Cape in Life Sciences, Mathematics and Physical Sciences.
Mr Henry Willemse, the Director of the FET Curriculum division of the department welcomed the group on Friday morning at Elizabeth Conradie School in Kimberley.
In her keynote address, Mrs DG Sibiya, Chief Director Curriculum Management and Delivery, confirmed that the Northern Cape Department of Education's (NCDoE) wants to make a change in their province and further improve the current pass rate of the matrics in the NSC examination. The Northern Cape had a pass rate of 78,7% in 2016, up from 69,4% in 2015.
She explained that Continuing Professional Teacher Development forms the basis of an integrated delivery programme by the department to improve overall learner performance from Grade R to 12.
This weekend's clinics were part of the NCDoE's drive to support teachers to teach challenging content in Mathematics, Life and Physical Sciences, as highlighted in the 2016 Matric Examination Diagnostic Report of the Department of Basic Education.
The aim of the clinics was further to model good teaching practice in the three mentioned subjects. SUNCEP staff members, who facilitated the sessions, also focused on how best to manage and deliver the curriculum and to develop and deliver effective school based assessments. In Life and Physical Sciences, the importance of practical work was also addressed.
"The teachers benefited from attending the clinics," said Mr Bobby Kunnath, Physical Sciences coordinator in the NCDoE. "The difference in the scores of the pre and post-tests [written by the teachers] showed that there is already a big improvement [in their understanding of the topics addressed] and that is the reason why we are very happy about the intervention".
This is confirmed by Mr Patrick Huysamen, from Kakamas High School. He said that to him the week end was very special. "I learned more about [specific] themes. I think it was also very good for new teachers entering the profession and those who teach Grade 12 for the first time."
In addition to the subject specific courses, 35 Circuit Managers and Chief Education Specialists participated in a SUNCEP Educational Leadership and Management course, "Purpose Driven Training for Circuit Managers" from 30 January to 3 February 2017.
This course aims to enhance the circuit managers' skills in their support of schools. This course is linked to the aims and objectives of schooling as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP); training thus centres around aspects of whole school development, making informed decisions using current school data, risk management and using schools as centres for the community.
In this picture are from the left, all Physical Sciences teachers, Ms Roxanne Kotze from Danielskuil High School, Mr DanLee Pienaar from Veritas High School in De Aar, Ms Sharlene Bruintjies, Blinkklip High School, Ms Nicolette Willemse from Kuilsville High School and Ms Mariza Thiro from Groblershoop High School