World Teachers' Day 2011
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared 5 October as World Teachers' Day to celebrate the essential role of teachers in providing quality education. This day has been commemorated since 1994. The theme for 2011 is "Teachers for Gender Equality"..
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) will honour teachers in October by announcing the provincial winners of the National Teaching Awards. These awards recognise excellence in eight categories of teaching and education leadership. A list of 2010 winners can be viewed on the WCED website.
Teacher Training and Development
The WCED is committed to the continuing professional development of all teachers, and the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute (CTLI) is a dedicated directorate of the WCED aiming to improve the quality of education in Western Cape schools through ongoing training and development programmes.
In-service training and development programmes of the CTLI facilitate training for teachers in all phases, aimed at both content knowledge and methodology, with special emphasis on literacy and numeracy. The school management and leadership programmes aim to improve management and leadership competency of serving HODs, deputy principals and principals through relevant training and development interventions.
The qualification improvement programme of the CTLI manages formal programmes in partnership with higher education institutions through specific bursary provision and support.
The Continuing Professional Development Point System is scheduled to be rolled out in all schools as from 2012, and the CTLI is the provincial agency tasked to work with all role players to develop and implement the system in the Western Cape.
On both a national and provincial level, the WCED is continuing to ease the workload of teachers to make it easier for them to focus more on quality teaching. Examples include the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) to streamline the curriculum and the way it is taught.
The WCED continues to simplify school planning by issuing a school planning calendar in advance. You can download the 2012 academic planning calendar. WCED's core objective is to reduce the burden on schools by limiting interventions only to those that appear on the planning calendar.
According to the WCED 2010 Customer Satisfaction Report, which rates the levels of service delivery in the Head Office and district offices, there have been substantial improvements in the assessment of educators and principals of the responsiveness and efficiency of the WCED compared to 2009.
The WCED's infrastructure plan, which includes the building of 25 new schools, hundreds of additional classrooms and 20 replacement schools in the current Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, is aimed at ensuring that school environments are more conducive to quality teaching and learning.
As part of the provincial government's priority to improve the physical infrastructure of schools, education facilities that have been built with inappropriate materials such as wood or chipboard will be replaced with brick and mortar structures.
Safety and Security
As part of a long-term plan to ensure that learners and educators are able to teach and learn in a safe and secure environment, the WCED is systematically strengthening security measures at 50 schools each financial year.
The Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Act 2010 (Act No. 7 of 2010) helps to improve school safety by placing further prohibitions on dangerous objects, illegal drugs and alcohol on school premises and by providing more clearly defined powers to conduct search-and-seizure operations at schools while at all times respecting the personal integrity of learners.