Why do we need educator mentorship in South African schools?August 1, 2023
It starts with a simple question?August 29, 2023
A fundamental aspect of the Edufundi Support Programme design is to ensure that it works alongside the Department of Education - complimenting and supporting their work. In doing so, the effectiveness of the programme is improved and crucially, the relationship between schools and Departments are stronger. Schools and the staff feel more empowered and capacitated to meet the demands of the school and the demands of the Department.
Often, prior to Edufundi’s involvement, the relationships between schools and the Department can be challenging. With limited capacity, the department officials do not have the opportunity to properly dive into the aspects that a school may need support in. As Miss Nomusa Shamase, KwaZulu-Natal Acting Chief Education specialist - Circuit management says, “we don’t have the chance to go deep into things like curriculum management. We can give an overview, but it is not enough.”
Edufundi’s Lead Like a Champion Progamme is designed to work with School Management Teams (SMT) to tackle key aspects of school management that ensure teaching for learning can take place effectively. In the second year, the fourth Lead Like a Champion workshop focuses on curriculum management. The most essential aspect of instructional leadership is managing the curriculum. The SMT plays a key role in managing the processes related to the core activities of teaching for learning. This includes planning and supervising curriculum implementation, supporting teachers to enhance their teaching practice, encouraging reflection, and providing guidance.
Feedback from the Department of Education
“I like that Edufundi always brings it back to the vision and the mission of a school,” says Miss Shamase, “and we don’t do that.” As Vuyokazi Vinqi, Edufundi Programmes Manager, explains in her presentation, the vision and mission are critical to ensuring accountability within a school. It goes back to what a school’s ultimate aim is - the aim that everyone is working towards. As Miss Shamase observes the workshop, she notes down the learnings so that she can apply them to a presentation she is doing the following week. "We also learn when we are here.”
Deputy Chief Education Specialist, Busisiwe Thobela notes the impact Edufundi is having in behavior and classroom management in schools and on teachers, especially those new to the profession. “When I attended a workshop on behavior and classroom management it was 100%, the strategies they showed the teachers were exactly what they needed, because we know that new teachers' inductions are done by HR and that is not enough for them to be able to manage a classroom.”
Chief Education Specialist - Circuit management, Mr SSS Lushozi spoke about the bridge that Edufundi plays between the Department and schools. “We are in a supervisor role and Edufundi is coming in as a coach, which is more relaxed,” he says. “This role we see as crucial because schools are more open and willing to learn from the Edufundi coaches. It is augmentative to our work.” When speaking about school improvement he has observed that the schools he is managing, that are part of the Edufundi programme, he sees a difference. “Systems are happening, teaching and learning is improving and curriculum management is much better”.
To ensure the Department is included, aware of and part of what Edufundi is aiming to achieve in the schools. Department officials are invited to all workshops in the Support Programme. “Our relationship with the schools is stronger because we attend these workshops and are part of their journey, so when we visit the schools we know what they are doing with Edufundi,” says Thobela.
For the Edufundi Support Programme to succeed, it is imperative that the Department is on board, but also that the relationship between the Department and schools is strong. The ongoing attendance of Department officials and their positive feedback is encouraging. It proves that we are all working towards the same goal… an excellent school system for all.