CAPE TEACHING INSTITUTE: Western Cape Department of Education
The aim of the programme is to contribute to the realisation of effective and high quality education for all. The institute provides dedicated services aimed at continuously empowering educators to enable them to achieve this goal.
Services are provided to teachers, heads of department, deputy principals, principals, curriculum and special education advisors, and circuit managers.
Organisationally, the institute comprises a head and three coordinators, two of the posts presently being vacant. There are four administrative posts of which one is vacant. In addition, the institute has three cleaner posts, all three of which are filled.
The training institute prioritises the development of educators from schools located in previously disadvantaged communities, and schools that perform poorly in terms of numeracy and literacy. These schools are located acr, oss rural and urban areas, and the Institute serves all racial groups of the Western Cape Province.
It should be noted that some of the locational factors that impact on the service area relate to travelling distances in excess of 500 km's, the inaccessibility of some schools in rural areas ,and the fact that the Institute is physically not located on a transport route.
The Institute outsources the training of educators to experts in their respective fields, and does quality assurance. Training is research and needs-driven and substitute educators are appointed to fill in for participating educators.
The training facility, besides building the capacity of educators, provides an opportunity for them to network and interact with their peers which contributes to the creation of a wider network of teachers in the province.
The project is challenged by work overload, classroom-based support, reaching out to schools in outlying areas, assuring cooperation from Education Management and Development Centre coordinators - and the fact that the facilities are not of a standard that allow for professional development. The project is also faced by lack of financial resources.
The motivation for entering the Premier Service Excellence Awards centre relate to its contribution to the equitable spread of training throughout the province: The Institute trains 50 participants per course and a total of 5 000+ educators have been trained thus far. In addition, it subjects itself to rigorous monitoring and evaluation.
Three successful impact studies were conducted by independent researchers, the results of which guide the training courses. Impact studies revealed a marked improvement in the teaching practice of the teachers who attended.