Education International
Education International

South Africa: Union collaboration to improve quality of teaching

published 26 January 2017 updated 27 January 2017

The South African Democratic Teachers' Union is the first union to finalise a partnership with the National Education Collaboration Trust to find practical solutions to improve the quality of learning in schools.

The first phase of the partnership between the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) with the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) will take place in Butterworth district in the Eastern Cape and Sekhukhune district in Limpopo.

The collaboration targets 348 primary and secondary schools in Butterworth district and 437 primary and combined schools in Sekhukhune.

The NECT Chief Executive Officer, Godwin Khosa, said the collaboration aims to start small and then gradually take feasible, affordable and sustainable innovations to scale.

Enhancing teacher professionalism

The SADTU General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke, said that “through this initiative, it will be possible to increase the core of lead teachers so that teacher professionalisation becomes teacher-driven at local level, thereby reducing dependence on subject advisers, who are already few in numbers”.

He explained that this initiative is underpinned by collaboration principles that seek to, amongst others, promote co-creation in improving learning outcomes towards the achievement of the National Development Plan (NDP) goals.

Linked to SADTU policies and strategies

In line with one of the strategies in SADTU's 2030 Vision Pillars, aimed at creating a learning nation, the initiative will involve 700 teachers - 390 from Limpopo and the balance from the Eastern Cape. It also aims to advance an NDP goal whereby 90 per cent of learners should have mastered at least 50 per cent of the curriculum by 2030, and create a better balance between unionism and professionalism.

The SADTU will employ its own criteria to identify the relevant lead teachers and principals to drive the initiative. Once this process has been finalised, NECT will step in to conduct the first level of training of lead teachers and principals, as well as to provide the necessary materials.