WCED equips teachers to offer crucial technical skills education
To improve our educators' teaching and leadership skills, the WCED is hosting a number of seminars, conferences and workshops this holiday period at the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute (CTLI) and other venues.
Thousands of educators across the province have signed up for the various programmes on offer this winter.
Today I visited Bellville Technical High School where over 200 teachers are taking part in Grade 12 CAPS Technical teacher training.
This follows new developments on a school level which include the introduction of new technical subjects in our technical schools.
In 2014 DBE approved the introduction of the revised Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) for Technology (Technical Subjects).
CAPS for all Technology Subjects - including Technical Mathematics and Technical Sciences - was incrementally implemented in January 2016 from Grade 10, with Grade 11 and 12 implemented in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The revised curriculum offers learners elementary engineering and technological skills, which are suitable for the world of work, higher and or further education and self-employment.
Previously, learners could mix and match across fields, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Technology. The revised curriculum introduces very specific skills in three technical streams, namely, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Technology and each of the subjects has there specialisation areas.
Learners now have to choose a more focussed stream in one of these fields, which means that they are typically better suited to the needs of industry.
This is an important development as our technical schools work in close collaboration with industry to ensure that they meet the needs of industry, and to ensure employment for our learners.
The changes introduced in the revised curriculum necessitated the need for the orientation of subject advisors and re-training of teachers on theory and practical teaching methodologies.
A new specialisation CAPS curriculum for the three Technical subjects was developed and Grade 10 educators in the Western Cape were trained on its implementation beginning with Grade 10 teachers in 2015, for partial roll-out in 2016.
We are now implementing the plan fully in Grade 10 this year, for the first time. A total of 6 683 Grade 10 learners have registered for the full technical streams in technical high schools this year.
The Grade 11 teachers were trained during 2016 and training is currently taking place for Grade 12 teachers.
With the new specialisation curriculum, learners will be better equipped to follow an Apprenticeship in any of the trades that are on offer. This is something that we strongly encourage and promote as a Government.
For instance, the Western Cape Government has identified skills development as one of eight key focus areas for the province.
Technical schools are extremely valuable to this government and play an important role in skills development and in achieving this goal.
There are currently about 25 000 learners in Grades 10 to 12 in 23 technical schools in the Western Cape.
We still have a lot to do to build the skills base of the province. Fortunately, industry and TVET colleges are providing excellent support, and we are working closely with other government departments and agencies to implement the WCG Apprenticeship Game Changer programme. The Game Changer has a target of introducing 35 000 qualified apprentices into the labour market by 2019.
At the end of the day, we want as many people as possible to have the skills they need to find and offer employment, and to build the economy of the province and the country. To achieve this, we need to ensure our teachers receive ongoing training and upskilling to ensure that they have the practical skills to offer the new specialised curriculum.
I am therefore delighted that to see so many educators at Bellville THS this morning and look forward to seeing this programme rolled out to Grade 12 next year. I hope to see many more learners enrolling for technical education.