Teacher Professional Development
English is one of 11 official languages in South Africa and though not the most common first language it is the most widely spoken second language. It is also the language of instruction in schools, technology and international business and science and therefore fluency and understanding are crucial for any young person making their way in the modern South Africa. Our partner schools have identified reading and writing comprehension in English as a key challenge for their learners and tasked Project Zulu with designing a programme to support teachers in the teaching of English.
In August 2016 and 2017, Project Zulu worked with 2 academics from the Department of Education at the University of the West of England to provide additional support to the teachers at our partner schools. Both years the UWE academics held multiple workshops with the schools’ English teachers, equipping them with new teaching approaches and techniques. The local Department of Education also requested two, one-day conferences open to all schools within the Newcastle area, including all other Madadeni township schools and schools from the neighbouring township of Osizweni and Dannhauser municipality. Altogether around 150 teachers benefited from the training provided.
In August 2017, in response to requests from the Amajuba District Education Department and local teachers, Project Zulu also invited Mathematics Education lecturers from UWE to run workshops for Grades 5-7 mathematics teachers from our partner schools. The workshops concentrated mostly on fun, engaging and interactive strategies for teaching number concepts and calculation. The week culminated with a very successful mathematics conference for teachers from across the district.
All the Teacher Professional Development sessions were very positively received and we look forward to developing support of this type moving into 2018.