Mrs Anthea Cereseto, Deputy President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), commenting on the Department of Basic Education (DBE) planned “1+4 Intervention Model” – [Circular S1 of 2015], dated 9 January 2015, stated that NAPTOSA cannot support this initiative by the DBE.

The Circular calls for the release of Grade 8 and 9 Mathematics teachers from schools during teaching time to attend Professional Learning Communities’ sessions every Monday (or on a day preferred by a province) to take part in workshops that will be conducted at central venues. This would result in these teachers teaching for four days of the week, she added.

It is evident that the DBE is operating on the presumption that these teachers teach only one grade and one subject. The reality is that teachers often teach across the Senior Phase and the FET Phase (i.e. Grade 8 -12), some also, especially in smaller schools, teach more than one subject, said Mrs Cereseto. The implications of taking teachers out for a day a week are enormous. The repercussions will include: learners across grades being without teachers; loss of teaching time in other subjects; notional time requirements not being met; poor curriculum coverage and the general quality of teaching and learning will be impacted on, she added. Mrs Cereseto also stated that the complexities of high school timetabling will not allow these problems to be solved by time-table adjustments.

Whilst NAPTOSA supports the development of interventions to improve Mathematics achievement levels in Grade 8 and 9, it does not believe this intervention is the correct approach to achieve this, said Mrs Cereseto. “NAPTOSA cautions against ‘quick-fix interventions’, that whilst attempting to address a problem may create additional problems. In theory the intervention framework sounds plausible but the practical implementations will result in major disruptions in teaching and learning.” said Mrs Cereseto.

Mrs Cereseto stated that the initiative, although dated early January was only presented to stakeholders at a Departmental meeting earlier this week and  that  NAPTOSA was not included in the planning of this intervention.

NAPTOSA calls on the DBE to halt the implementation of this initiative and engage with all stakeholders on a more productive way forward.

(Friday 30-01-15)                 
End of Statement
Enquiries: Mrs Anthea Cereseto - 082 610 5756