History was made in Durban on Thursday, 24 July 2014 when the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) in KwaZulu-Natal, with partners – Mindset, Telkom, Inkunzi, Hauwei, HP, Vortex, Cyberschool Technology and 247 Technologies, officially launched a teacher development television programme – a first by a teacher union.
The launch took place during the Union’s provincial congress at the Durban Exhibition Centre attended by hundreds of delegates from branches and regions who applauded when live pictures from the Programme’s prototype school in Inanda appeared on the screens and enjoyed cake afterwards.
According to Provincial Secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, the launch of the programme was a direct response to challenges facing teachers. ‘lsquoIt is well known that Black teachers were not allowed to do Maths and Science and that affected the quality of teaching. We felt we could no longer fold hands and be spectators and allow the situation to get worse. The programme will address issues of teacher training. If you can solve challenges around education, start with teachers first, ldquoMathonsi said.
The programmes will also look at developing non-educators and matrics. It is being piloted in KwaZulu Natal but will eventually be spread across the entire country.
For this to come true, SADTU in KwaZuluNatal had to find reliable and like-minded partners, build a broadcast studio in SADTU’s provincial office in Durban and create teacher development television programmes. Best teachers and subject specialists in the province will be lined up to provide teacher development from the studio and address challenging topics for teachers.
Ten teachers’ centres in provincial districts will be equipped with viewing technology including TVs, satellite dishes and servers to store content. Teachers will be provided with detailed broadcast schedules in aance, and can interact with presenters via SMS, telephone and social media live during the broadcasts.
This will be shown on DSTV’s channel 309
Mathonsi spoke highly of the close relationship between the union and the department of Basic Education in the province which led to the launch of the programme. He also thanked them for successful matric intervention programme which saw the increase in the matric pass rate in the province.
KwaZulu-Natal’s Head of Department for Basic Education Dr Nkosinathi Sishi commended SADTU’s programme and promised his department would walk all the way with the Union to ensure the programme’s success.
SADTU Acting President Magope Maphila congratulated SADTU in KwaZulu Natal for coming up with an initiative that was moving with the times and change for the better. H said he wished DA had attended the launch in order to give correct testimonies about SADTU.
ldquoThey can’t say anything positive about us. When the results are bad, they blame SADTU. When they are good, it is not SADTU,rdquo Maphila said.
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions