12 February 2014 | Tsepo Senoamali | Opinion
The Primary Science Programme (PSP) organisation came into operation in 1984, with the sole purpose of developing the capacity of educators to provide quality teaching and learning, particularly in the poor schools of the Western Cape.
Since inception, its main focus has been towards developing and empowering primary school educators in Science and Mathematics.
Focusing on the most disadvantaged communities, the Anglo-American’s Chairman Fund through Tshikululu has over a number of years played a vital role towards assisting the organisation. Over the years the organisation has extended its reach to educators in Language, Natural Sciences & Technology and Environment Education.
The Joint Mentorship Project, a two-year programme of mentorship for first-time teachers supported by the Anglo-American Chairman’s Fund, aims to fast-track the professional adjustment of first-time teachers as they enter the profession. First-time teachers receive mentorship and support with curriculum implementation of the critical subjects of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Language, as well as in the areas of classroom and administrative management.
Essential learnings of the project have been disseminated back to the Education Faculty of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and are also captured in a handbook, TeachSmart: A Guide to Success for First-time Teachers and for Schools, which is to be made widely available.
With the support of the Anglo-American Chairman’s Fund, the PSP has made significant strides in training and supporting educators to deepen their content knowledge and to enhance their pedagogical skills, providing classroom-based support for educators, and developing and adapting training materials and training programmes used in educator development to align them with changing and evolving policies within the education sector, and in essentially developing learning and teaching support materials to be used by educators in their day-to-day classroom activities.