Transnet Foundation through its Education Portfolio continues to embark on programmes which improve the quality of the education system within the country. The portfolio has been running a project called Transnet Foundation Teachers Development Programme which offers support to targeted high school teachers.
This initiative was conducted in the KwaZulu -Natal, North West, Free State, Eastern Cape and Limpopo regions with a total of 18 schools selected as beneficiaries. Transnet offers additional coaching in Mathematics, English and Physical Science to teachers of the said schools and the knowledge acquired is then transferred to grade 10-12 learners. At the launch of the project, resources including computer labs, interactive white boards, dictionaries, study guides and science kits were donated by Transnet to the schools at a cost of R6m.
“Transnet with this gesture has acknowledged the change in the education system by offering the support. We want to improve the style of teaching and provide wider knowledge to the teachers. And being part of the noble profession, it is up to the teachers to restore the glory of education and make or break the mindset of the learners,” education portfolio senior manager Theresa Moila said.
Success stories on the project have been pouring in indicating that 16 out of the 18 districts have shown improvement in the performance of the three subjects. Distinctions have emerged in schools that did not previously achieve the mark. Sekhukhune district in Limpopo which in the previous years recorded only one distinction, now boasts of eight distinctions.
Initial training for the teachers was given at the beginning of the project and further motivation sessions and workshops have been organised when required. School holiday camps for the learners were introduced as a platform for revision on different sections of the curriculum.
“What sets apart our support system is the fact that contracted service providers go into the classrooms and work with the teachers and look at the teaching plan. We do not intimidate the teachers but our mentoring and coaching helps build on trust and build on the confidence levels of teachers,” Moila says.
There have, however, been challenges that have been met which have led the Transnet management to put the programme under review from March this year until further notice.