SADTU welcomes the development of teachers but the model for professional development should be examined thoroughly.
The Department has come up with the 1+4 Programme following unacceptable low 2014 ANA results for Grade 9 Mathematics of 10,8%. The Programme will require that Grade 8 and 9 Mathematics teachers attend Professional Learning Communities workshops one day per week where they will share knowledge and come up with solutions to implement in their respective schools.
SADTU is of the opinion that the Plan will aersely affect school organization as it will affect time-tabling and increase the workload for some teachers. The absence of teachers for a day would lead to disruptions as some learners would not be attended to. Schools need to be effective every day. The Department should also take into account that teachers teach more than one grade and more than one subject. This plan of the department will solve a crisis by creating another crisis. Do they imagine the disciplinary challenges to be caused by unattended learners? This plan will further compound our challenge on the current post provisioning which for years remains unresolved. Teacher development should be complimented by favourable class sizes and the provision of more teachers.
SADTU welcomes Professional Learning Communities but is concerned at the manner in which they are introduced. Professional Learning Communities begin at school level and gradually increase to clusters and not the other way around. Professional Learning Communities need to be supported at school level over time for them to become effective and sustainable means of promoting teacher development.
Lastly, we would like to make a call to the Department of Basic Education to engage and consult with teacher trade unions on professional development so that a workable solution is found on this important matter. If the department had consulted, a better model would have been agreed upon. .
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions