Tag Archives: teaching

UCT ranks highest in Africa in the World University Rankings

Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings

 

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is once again the top educational institution in Africa according to the recent QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings for 2013/14.

This year UCT is ranked at 145 globally, up nine places from last year.  The top ranking university globally is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) followed by Harvard University and University of Cambridge.

QS is the leading global career and education network serving ambitious professionals who are looking to continue with their education in both their personal and professional development.

“The QS World University Rankings are based on four key pillars: research, teaching, employability and internationalisation. The methodology consists of six indicators: academic reputation (40 percent); employer reputation (10 percent); faculty student ratio (20 percent); citations per faculty (20 percent); international students (5 percent); and international faculty (5 percent),” according to the company.

The best South African universities have all improved in their ranking in this year’s annual report. The University of Witwatersrand (Wits), the number 2 South African University,  moved up 50 places to 313. Seven South African universities were included in this years annual QS World University Rankings, and 3 of these were ranked in the top 400 globally.

This year, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings surveyed over 3000 universities globally and included 800 in the final rankings table.

In addition to the pillars and methodology, the company studies over 62000 academic responses and over 27000 employer responses in order to arrive at their results. This makes it the largest survey of academic institutions in the world.

For the very first time, Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg was included in this years survey and were placed in positions 551-600 and 601-650 categories respectively.

Given the extent and broad nature of the survey, only the top 400 universities are given specific positions. Thereafter, universities are placed in bands  given that the differences in performance of the universities in each band is not significant enough to say that one is better than the other within the specific group.

From the research undertaken, Quacquarelli Symonds revealed that the success of UCT is driven by the strong performance for research citations. This means that the university is producing work and research that is of global importance and impact.

The head of research at Quacquarelli Symonds also stated that by developing world class universities is critical for developing nations and will assist South Africa to realize and achieve its enormous potential for economic growth in the foreseeable future. From this years survey and rankings, it is evident that the country’s top educational institutions are a lot more visible globally, especially UCT who is producing a significant number of ” high-impact research.”

UCT spokeswoman Patricia Lucas stated that they are extremely proud of the university and its improvement over the last year. She also commented that South African’s can now see that they can receive a world class education without having to leave the borders of the country.

To view global ranking – click here

Satellite broadcasting helps boost maths and science results

The launch of satellite broadcasting programs is going to make learning for young students undertaking mathematics substantially more interesting.

The programme was launched last week by the Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy and is one of many measures taken by department with the objective of enhancing upon the quality of teaching for grade 8 and 9 students.

The programme and service is going to be broadcast to individual high school specifically chosen by the department and will overlap with lesson to ensure that teachers can integrate the broadcast with their lessons. The broadcast will also be recorded for the benefit of students to revise what they have learnt in class.

15 schools were chosen for the pilot programme in February and from now on the broadcast will expand to over 385 schools who happen to be part of the Senior Secondary School Improvement Programme over the course of the year.

“We are aware of the fact that Gauteng’s education system has the task of producing graduates who are able to become the next generation of skilled workers, engineers, and managers the advanced industrial economy of our province requires if it is to continue to grow,” Creecy said.

The primary goal and objectives of the programme is to improve the overall quality of maths and science teaching available to students in the most disadvantaged schools and regions.

The use of technology in class is a global trend being employed to help bridge the gap of educational inequalities. The Gauteng education department is extremely enthusiastic with the new innovations which have been introduced and it brings the region in line with international trends.

Creecy stated that the launch of satellite broadcasting is not meant to replace teachers, rather it is just another teaching tool that can assist both students and teachers.

 

Satellite brodcasting boosts maths

 

 

Boosting matric pass rate

The satellite broadcasting programme is an extension of the Secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP) which has raised the matric pass rate by 12 percent over the last 4 years.

According to results from the pilot program, the satellite broadcasts is exhibiting exceptional results and is designed to rapidly improve learner performance in maths and science for Grades 8 and 9.

Sphesihle Sithole (14), a Grade 9 learner at Ibhongo Secondary School, was quoted as saying that a large number of students are excited by the new programme and interventions and they are confident that everyone will pass maths with flying colors. Not only are students more confident about passing maths. in addition they find maths substantially more interesting as a result of the introduction of the satellite broadcasting.

Aside from the satellite broadcasts, learners and teachers are making use of other social media tools like Facebook, Mxit and Twitter together with landline and mobile phones so that they can communicate back to the central broadcast studio to ask questions and make comments.

The satellite platform also provides on-the-job training for class teachers who also attend further lessons in the afternoons. Teachers in the schools involved so far have been enthusiastic in their response to the programme as have district officials who are overseeing its implementation.

Source: SAnews.gov.za

National Teaching Awards revive pride in teaching profession

 

President Jacob Zuma has pledged government’s full commitment to bring back the honor and pride of the teaching profession – commonly known as the mother of all professions.

“We want children to look up to teachers and learn from them more than the formal curriculum. Through watching the conduct of teachers, learners must want to be successful, respectful and to be good citizens, who will take the country forward to prosperity,” stated Zuma at the National Teaching Awards, an event which honours the nation’s hard-working and dedicated teachers

Zuma encouraged teachers to join and support government effort to make education an essential service. He challenged them to transform the current perceptions and images of the teaching profession.

 

National Teachers Awards
“Through professional conduct like coming to school on time and doing their work diligently, the teaching profession will regain the respect of the community. Our teachers carry an enormous responsibility on their shoulders. They carry the dreams and hopes of the nation. The manner in which they raise and nurture our precious children will help us build the model South African citizen. We will build the country that national heroes such as Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Chief Albert Luthuli, Ruth First, Dorothy Nyembe, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and many heroes and heroines sacrificed life’s comfort to establish,” the President said.
The President sent out a clear warning to opportunity seekers who failed to believe in the noble vision of South Africa’s forebears did not belong in the profession. He stated there presently exist teachers who are “contributing to this noble cause of building model citizens…..These teachers are the pride of our nation.” They continue to show support for the government’s call for more focus on the Triple Ts – teachers, textbooks and time.

Zuma carried on stating that it was the responsibility of government to supervise the profession. At the moment, there are ongoing discussions being helped at Education Labour Relations Council related to the new performance management system for educators. Part of the key Government priorities for 2013 include reducing teacher absenteeism and raising levels of accountability.

To be able to succeed, government intends to assist and focus on the Management and Administration of institutions. In conjunction with teacher unions, the government intends to instill the need for professional conduct upon their members.

Together with his passion for education, Zuma stated that all he wanted is that every child in South Africa receive a good quality education. He believes that to be able to develop a country that works then investment in education is a prerequisite and should advance the ideals of the Constitution.

 

President Jacob Zuma delivered a keynote address at the National Teachers Awards
President Jacob Zuma delivered a keynote address at the National Teachers Awards

Ever since the first democratic elections in South Africa, the government has taken on the responsibility and accomplished much with regards to improving the working conditions of educators, including compensation, teacher supply and utilisation.

The government is well aware of job market competitions and in order to attract, motivate, and retain high qualified and skilled teachers; the government will have to take a look at what is a decent salaries and conditions of service

Zuma mentioned in his State of the Nation Address that a Presidential Remuneration Commission would be established with the soul purpose to investigate and evaluate the remuneration and conditions of service provided by the state to all its employees, beginning with teachers.

Recently, the government launched National School Build Programme and committed more funding for school infrastructure. The government is working on two national programs running concurrently. In addition, there are provincially driven programmes with a national budget of R8.5 billion and the national Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative with an allocation of R8.2 billion, of which R3.1 billion has already been committed to projects that are underway.

 

Fikile Mekgoe Mrs S.A 2012-2013, Marius Du Plessis Avbob foundation, Deno Pillay Avbob foundation and Kopano Pole during the National Teachers Awards
Fikile Mekgoe Mrs S.A 2012-2013, Marius Du Plessis Avbob foundation, Deno Pillay Avbob foundation and Kopano Pole during the National Teachers Awards

 

To boost the state of education in the country, government is investing in teacher development. The intention is to strengthen and make use of the existing 112 teacher centres and five provincial teacher development institutes to make available additional support for and to teachers on a local level. Siyabuswa College of Education Mpumalanga was recently re-opened by Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande as part of a the government drive to expand teacher training around the country.

According to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga the steady advancements in Grade 12 pass rate and improvement in the Annual National Assessments is a result of dedicated, creative and motivated teachers.

“National Teaching Awards recipients are critical contributors to the successes we have achieved over the years. As ambassadors and models of good practices in this noble profession, they remind us that with extraordinary effort, the challenges facing the education sector can and will be overcome, one classroom at a time,” said Motshekga.

The categories of the National Teaching Awards include: Excellence in Primary School Teaching; Secondary School Teaching; Primary School Leadership; Secondary School Leadership; Grade R Teaching; Special Needs Education and Technology-enhanced Teaching and Learning.

Source: SAnews.gov.za, thepresidency.gov.za (images)

Zuma tells country and educators to start taking teaching seriously

President Jacob Zuma has officially announced that a national task team is going to be created to boost maths and science teaching in South Africa and that the nation must take teaching seriously. Furthermore, Zuma declared that he intends to set up a Presidential Remuneration Commission with a mandate to research and analyze the appropriateness of the remuneration and conditions of service furnished by the state to all its employees.

Zuma’s first priority is teachers and “elevating education to its rightful place” The purpose is to improve the overall quality of learning and teaching coupled with school management. “We want to see an improvement in attitudes, posture and outcomes,” he stated

The president is convinced that working with and in collaboration with educators, parents, the community as well as other stakeholders can lead to schools that can be recognized as “centres of excellence”.

Given the indisputable fact that the current Grade 12 pass rate is exhibiting clears signs of improvement, the Annual National Assessments (ANA) has evolved into a powerful tool for assessing the health of the education system.

“We welcome the improvement each year in the ANA results, but more must be done to improve maths, science and technology.” Zuma is encouraging the private sector to partner government to establish, adopt or sponsor maths and science academies or Saturday schools.

 

President Jacob Zuma
President Jacob Zuma

 

The meaning of essential services

 

President Zuma stated that he would like to transform the nation’s mind-set towards education and has come to the realization that education is an essential service.

By proclaiming education as an essential service does not, however, remove the constitutional rights of teachers as workers; for instance their right to strike. The aim is to transform the attitudes and perceptions of the education sector and that society must take education a lot more seriously than is currently taking place in the country.

To begin with, at least 98 new schools are going to have to be constructed in the next year replacing more than 40 “mud schools” that currently exist in the Eastern Cape. At the same time, two additional universities will be built, one in the Northern Cape and one in Mpumalanga.

Before the private sector, educators and society can take the President’s good intentions and ambitions seriously, the government and education department ought to lead by example and assume responsibility for their actions.

Source: SAnews.gov.za

Western Cape Education Department launches online recruitment system for teachers

 

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has launched a brand new online system offering teachers a much simpler and easier solution to do a search for teaching positions in the province and make application for jobs.

The e-Recruitment System is a spin-off from an online application system which had been piloted in 2011 for the filling of promotion posts. The brand new system was created and fine-tuned as a result of analysis and findings of the pilot.

Department spokesperson Bronagh Casey explained that the purpose of the e-Recruitment system is to recruit the best teachers as well as to minimize the stress and paperwork associated with making an application for a teaching post.

Showcasing some great benefits of the new system, Casey explained that the e-Recruitment System makes it possible for teachers to capture and store their CVs online. Additionally, they are capable of editing and updating their CVs via the online network.

Teachers are going to have the ability to submit an application for a specific job post online as well as link their latest CVs with their application. The system will instantaneously generate a letter acknowledging receipt of an application for a post. On top of that, applicants will not have to make copies of records and documents for each application they submit. Furthermore, they will not be forced to pay postage costs or stand in queues to submit applications prior to closing dates. The system will allocate a unique identification number to every teacher profile on the network.

The department is encouraging all teachers to begin the process of compiling their CVs on the e-Recruitment System from 1 December 2012. Applications will be able to be submitted online from 1 January 2013.

Casey pointed out the fact that the new system demonstrated the on-going innovation by the department as it sought to enhance the manner in which it recruited and employed staff.

Earlier successes included boosting the number of vacancy lists provided by the department to no less than five a year, as opposed to twice a year prior to 2010.

Technology and innovation has assisted the education department to accomplish a substantially speedier turnaround time for permanent appointments, and at the same time avoid unnecessary utilization of contract staff. In the past, the department was forced to wait, on average, six months or more to fill a post permanently. In addition, the department furthermore reduced the turnaround times for the filling of principal posts from at least six months to three months on average. Every one of these actions has assisted to considerably stabilize the entire system.

The brand new e-Recruitment System has made it simpler for the department to optimize their paper based systems and made it simpler for the department to manage the entire recruitment process and numbers involved. This is a huge leap forward for the education department and teacher alike.

To look for a job or post your CV today on the brand new e-Recruitment System – CLICK HERE

Source: SAnews.gov.za