Teachers train for new-look classes
Kevin Malan of the Western Cape Education Department, left, and Randall Arendorf, of Spes Bona High, let the sparks fly at the workshop at Bellville Technical High School.
Photo: David Ritchie
Teachers from several Western Cape schools are spending their holidays working on construction sites, doing welding work and fixing cars – and it’s not to earn an extra buck. Instead, they are getting hands-on experience in the new revised curriculum for technical schools, which will be introduced next year and is expected to increase study and work opportunities for pupils. The Western Cape Education Department’s Dr Joe Bronkhorst said the revised curriculum would be introduced across the country in Grade 10 from next year and 130 Western Cape teachers were receiving training to help them get to grips with the new system during the holidays.
He said the revised curriculum was developed with universities, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and industry.
Bronkhorst explained that at present civil technology, for example, was “a combination of a whole lot of subjects like building, construction and civil services. With the revised curriculum a pupil will be able to choose an area of specialisation, like construction.”
He said this meant that by the time pupils leave school they would have been able to focus on and learn more about their chosen area of specialisation but would still have some exposure to other areas.
“The introduction of a specialisation curriculum will open the doors for them to go into industry.”
Bronkhorst said that now, pupils who had graduated from technical schools and wanted to enter TVET colleges, often found that they had to repeat a study phase because of a lack of specialisation.
The changes to the curriculum would address this issue.
Bronkhorst said two new subjects, technical maths and technical sciences, were also being introduced while maths literacy would no longer be offered at these schools.
“This would allow pupils to enter the artisan route or the engineering route. With technical maths, technical sciences and a technology subject, pupils would be able to enter industry. They would also have the option of doing pure maths, physical sciences and a technology subject, which would allow them to gain access to university.”
Lead teachers in each field have been selected to conduct the training, which is being monitored by representatives from the Department of Basic Education.
At Bellville Technical High School last week, teachers were receiving training in specific specialities including woodworking, construction, welding and motor mechanics.
Gamzah Whatney, a teacher at Charleston Hill Secondary School in Paarl, said he enjoyed the practical training as he would be able to show his pupils exactly what to do.
Bronkhorst said parents could contact technical schools if they were interested in enrolling their children for next year.
The province has 23 fully-fledged technical schools while an additional 79 schools offer technical subjects.
“Technical schools have often had to take a back seat to pure academic schools because they are misunderstood. I think that with the revised curriculum these schools will really claim their space.”
Source: Cape Argus (Edited)