Gauteng Education to pay for teacher education

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The Gauteng Department of Education has encouraged people to join the teaching profession by committing to pay for their studies. "If you commit your life to teaching, Gauteng will commit to paying for your teacher education and training,' said Gauteng Education MEC Angie Motshekga, tabling her R16.629 billion budget for the department.


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By Gabi Khumalo
The Gauteng Department of Education has encouraged people to join the teaching profession by committing to pay for their studies.
"If you commit your life to teaching, Gauteng will commit to paying for your teacher education and training,' said Gauteng Education MEC Angie Motshekga, tabling her R16.629 billion budget for the department.
Ms Motshekga also announced that an additional 1 000 teachers in the province would be retiring this year.
The department would therefore review the role of provincial pre-service bursary programmes to recruit top talent into the profession and place new teachers in overcrowded districts and struggling rural towns.
"To prepare our teachers, I will create more space in schools for internship programmes to train high quality teachers every year,' Ms Motshekga said.
She added that to support teachers, the department would also establish a mentoring programme between experienced and successful teachers and new recruits.
Through subsidies, the department has increased investment directly to schools to more than R1 billion a year.
The department has also introduced the Bana Pele programme which aims to provides access to free schooling for over 890 000 learners.
Ms Motshekga emphasised a need to improve learning resourcing in poor communities by urgently addressing the increasing size of classes in schools.
"Class sizes in most schools have exceeded the policy norms set nationally, this is a result of increased growth of the last five years due to migration,' she said.
She also noted that despite increased resourcing levels and investments in School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and School Management Teams (SMT) development activities, the department needs to do more for schools in poor communities.
"We need to get schools to work, we would have to focus on reinforcing SGBs, Representative Councils of Learners and SMTs,' she said.
A key focus, she said, should be on leadership skills and capacity building programmes that develop the key stakeholders from a perspective of managing learning through the effective governance and management of a school.
Regarding school safety, Ms Matshekga said the department was currently undertaking an audit and review of the state of school safety and security policy and measures to ensure that security is extended to cover all schools in high risk areas.
"We will also ensure that functional school safety committees are in place in all schools, they will also be required to formulate, adopt and implement a school safety and security policy,' she said.
The department is engaged in a partnership with the Centre for Peace and Justice and the Department of Community Safety to ensure that the Hlayiseka Project is successfully rolled out.
The project aims to empower schools to undertake an audit and review of school security needs and to formulate appropriate response mechanisms as provided for by law.
Regarding matriculants, the department will intensify its focus on maths, science and technology focussing on the C-aggregate strategy.
The department will ensure that subject combinations of all learners in Grades 10 to 12 are checked for certification requirements to ensure that more learners can proceed to higher levels.

"We will develop a clear intervention strategy that is district driven and develop an accountability framework for district performance of underperforming schools.'
- BuaNews

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