Green light for teachers to learn how to teach reading
Basic education department gives go-ahead for training of 4,800 primary school teachers to begin next year
The department of basic education has given the green light to one of its key partners to train Grade 4 to 7 teachers on how to teach reading to pupils.
Godwin Khosa, chief executive of the National Education Collaboration Trust, confirmed it will be offering training to 4,800 teachers from the beginning of next year.
Between October 2016 and December last year, the trust was actively involved in training teachers of Grades 1 to 3 how to teach reading to pupils through its Primary School Reading Improvement Programme.
Among other things, this programme was aimed to expose 11,721 foundation phase teachers and 263 subject advisers to new trends in teaching pupils how to read with understanding and meaning.
SA’s Grade 4 pupils’ scores for reading literacy in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2016 was the lowest among 50 countries.
Khosa said the trust sits its experts with subject advisers to look at the research design interventions that are relevant and appropriate for teachers.
He said teachers participating in the new programme would be assessed and given the necessary training before they started teaching reading to pupils.
“After the first two school terms next year, we will bring them back and assess what kind of gaps there are and give them further training and send them back to the field.”
Teachers would be provided with practical examples and daily lesson plans to help them prepare for the teaching of reading and how to use reading material resources.
Khosa said results of research by Stellenbosch University showed that very few school managers were involved in practical ways to support improved reading in schools.
“So we are designing a component that would actually bring school management teams into the fold to create a suitable environment for the promotion of reading.”
Khosa said the department's expansion of the training programme to include Grade 4 to 7 teachers was a vote of confidence in the NECT.
Meanwhile, the board of the NECT has approved a programme known as the National Reading Coalition which focuses on several areas including:
Initial teacher education programmes to ensure that teachers are prepared to teach reading while they are studying at university;
Improving pupil access to sufficient age and language relevant reading resources;
Promoting community reading initiatives; and
Research monitoring and evaluation.
Khosa said the plan was to build a comprehensive response to the reading challenge in the country by implementing programmes in at least 265 of SA’s 1,100 education circuits...