EC ap­point Grade R teach­ers

Grocott's Mail - - ECONOMIX/NEWS CONTRIBUTORS - By SI­NE­SIPHO GO­QWANA

The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion held a work­shop at PJ Olivier High School where it in­vited prin­ci­pals, teach­ers and Ed­u­ca­tion Dis­trict Of­fi­cers (EDOs) from Gra­ham­stown schools and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

The pur­pose of this work­shop was to out­line the Post Pro­vi­sion Norms (PPN) Out­reach Pro­gramme for 2017 and also present guide­lines for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the col­lec­tive agree­ment, ac­cord­ing to the Ed­u­ca­tion Labour Re­la­tions Coun­cil (ELRC) for prin­ci­pals, cir­cuit and dis­trict man­agers.

The teach­ers were ad­dressed last Fri­day by Mem­ber of the Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil (MEC) Mandla Makupula of the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral (DDG) of the Eastern Cape Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, Ray Ty­wakadi.

Makupula said the PPN was a pol­icy that acts as a guide to how the govern­ment al­lo­cates teach­ers and re­sources to dif­fer­ent schools.

He said the 2017 PPN would bring about changes in schools in the Eastern Cape such as per­ma­nently em­ploy­ing the Grade R prac­ti­tion­ers.

“Cur­rently the Grade R prac­ti­tion­ers are given a stipend of R500 to R600 per month so we de­cided that be­cause of bud­get lim­i­ta­tions we will start with giv­ing them R991 and also ap­point them as pro­fes­sional ed­u­ca­tors with govern­ment benefits like med­i­cal aid,” he said.

He also added that these prac­ti­tion­ers would be ap­pointed as foun­da­tion phase post Level 1 ed­u­ca­tors.

“It’s im­por­tant for prin­ci­pals, Stu­dent Gov­ern­ing Bod­ies (SGBs) and Ed­u­ca­tion Dis- trict Of­fi­cers to know ex­actly how this pol­icy works so that we as the depart­ment, to­gether with them, can dis­cuss how we distribute the stipends as this is be­ing done for the first time in this prov­ince,” he said.

Due to the chal­lenges that chil­dren from the ru­ral ar­eas face with re­gards to hav­ing their exam pa­pers and en­tire syl­labus in English, an­other change that the depart­ment will be in­tro­duc­ing is to trans­late learn­ing ma­te­rial such as books and exam pa­pers for pri­mary schools, in­clud­ing math­e­mat­ics, to isiXhosa.

“We tested this idea in Cofimv­aba for three years for lower grades and it has yielded great re­sults.

That is why Cofimv­aba is one of the lead­ing dis­tricts in maths and science,” af­firmed the MEC.

Ty­wakadi said that the schools, to­gether with the SGBs, must be strict in en­sur­ing that school poli­cies are obeyed by learn­ers at all times and be wary of “tai­lor mak­ing” the school based on the needs of the peo­ple on the streets.

“You must de­ter­mine the tempo and cul­ture of the school based on the con­sen­sus or agree­ment of the par­ents of the chil­dren that are in that school. If your pol­icy only al­lows short hair then par­ents must abide by that pol­icy,” he said.

He also urged the del­e­gates to be care­ful not to over-sen­sa­tion­alise what hap­pened at the Pre­to­ria Girls’ High School where pupils protested against the school’s hair poli­cies.

“Please reduce such non-po­lit­i­cal is­sues. If par­ents have a prob­lem with a cer­tain pol­icy, then they should go dis­cuss it with the school and not bring pol­i­tics into it,” he pleaded.

Chief Ed­u­ca­tion Spe­cial­ist in the Hu­man Re­source Plan­ning and Post Pro­vi­sion­ing Direc­torate, Mbulelo Moeli went through the Guide­lines for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Col­lec­tive Agree­ment No 4 of 2016 by the Ed­u­ca­tion Labour Re­la­tions Coun­cil, which guides prin­ci­pals, cir­cuit and dis­trict man­agers on their re­spec­tive roles like know­ing and un­der­stand what is ex­pected of them when it comes to the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of ad­di­tional staff es­tab­lish­ment ed­u­ca­tors.

Due to the chal­lenges that chil­dren from the ru­ral ar­eas face with re­gards to hav­ing their exam pa­pers and en­tire syl­labus in English, an­other change that the depart­ment will be in­tro­duc­ing is to trans­late learn­ing ma­te­rial such as books and exam pa­pers for pri­mary schools, in­clud­ing math­e­mat­ics, to isiXhosa.

Photo: Si­ne­sipho Go­qwana

Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion MEC, Mandla Makupula ad­dress­ing del­e­gates from the depart­ment at PJ Olivier High School last Fri­day.

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