EC teacher training colleges in 2014

Blade Nzimande. Picture: FILE

BLADE Nzimande, minister of the department of higher education and training (DHET), has announced teacher training colleges would be reopened in the Eastern Cape next year.

However, senior administration officials in his department yesterday declined to provide details about the planned colleges – locations, budget allocations, focal areas for training and progress made so far, among other aspects.
DHET director-general Gwebinkundla Qonde would only say colleges would be reintroduced. “The colleges are going to be reintroduced in the Eastern Cape. Wait for it to happen.”
DHET spokeswoman Vuyelwa Qinga said: “The Minister will make an announcement about this at an appropriate time.”
She refused to comment further.
Parliamentary portfolio committee on higher education chairman, Ishmael Malale, could not be reached for a comment on the matter.
On Thursday last week, Nzimande was quoted in the national newspapers saying teacher training colleges in the province together with Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal would be reopened next year.
He said the first college was to be reopened this week in Mpumalanga.
He made the pronouncement at a New Age business briefing in Johannesburg.
Nzimande said the new colleges needed to focus on the development of teachers for the foundation phase.
This comes amid ongoing tensions in the province between teachers’ unions, led by the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) and provincial education over teaching jobs.
Nzimande’s announcement received a mixed reaction from opposition parties in the Eastern Cape, who welcomed the announcement, but said a clear plan was needed to make the programme work.
DA shadow MEC of education Edmund van Vuuren said the party welcomed the announcement.
However, Van Vuuren said training for teachers would have to focus on early childhood development, foundation phase and critical subjects such as maths, science and accounting.
Van Vuuren said the ANC-led government had made a “huge mistake” by closing teacher colleges.
“They thought there was an oversupply of teachers and there is another disgrace happening in the department, that of Funza Lushaka bursary students, who received thousands of rands from the department to study towards a teaching qualification but are still yet to be placed at schools.”
He said close to 200 qualified teachers, who studied through the bursary, are sitting at home.
“They are treated the same way as temporary teachers. According to the contract they signed with the department they are supposed to be at the school after three months of finishing their studies, but that is not happening. They have to sue the department for that,” Van Vuuren said.
UDM MPL Jackson Bici said he hoped thorough research had been conducted to ensure there would not be hiccups in the programme.
“We need to know what research has been done to warrant the reopening of these colleges because we have a problem of unions especially Sadtu fighting with the department over the number of teachers in the province.”
Bici said colleges would have to focus on critical subjects and government would have to place graduates at schools.
Attempts were made to get a comment from COPE, the leading opposition party in the province, but were unsuccessful.
Nzimande’s announcement was welcomed by Sadtu’s national executive committee.
“Our education system requires highly qualified teachers for quality public education. The deliberate improvement of our teachers’ competencies will improve learner achievement,” the union said in a statement. — msindisif@dispatch.co.za

22 COMMENTS

  1. Some very important issues… Where will the Training College be sited?
    Is the training only for Foundation Phase teachers? Or, will it be for Senior Primary teachers as well?
    Who will staff the College? [The quality of the staffing is absolutely critical to the quality of teacher it produces.]
    Where will the students do their teaching practice? [The quality of teachers they observe and in whose classrooms they teach, and from whom they as students receive guidance, is an absolutely critical part of their practical training]
    How many students will be admitted in Year 1? What will the entry requirements be? What will the required pass marks be for both the academic and practical sides of their training? {Spare us all the 30% and 35% nonsense!]
    Given the current apparent excess of teachers, will there be posts when these students qualify?

    We have NOW got to set high standards and high demands for those wanting to enter the teaching profession!

  2. It will be a brilliant idea to re-open teacher colleges. Just make sure all the infrasture and logistics are in place before the start of the 2014 academic year.

  3. Thanks to the Minister this is long overdue.These colleges these colleges will play a big role in supplying tearchers that are seen to be in short supply.People must stop using a problem for one Privince and make it a national cirsis. If there are students that qualified and are not employed I am sure the Minister has a plan in hand for them.

    • I’m also of the view that standards/pass rates must be relatively set high, in order to produce high quality teachers. Some of the commentators must check their spelling/grammar, because it can have a negative effect on their prospective future.

      Thank you.

  4. I would like to enter to the teaching profession and would like to study in Cape Town. Where is the best place that i may apply on a full time basis and with the assistance of a bursary.

    Thank you

  5. Im so desparate i want teachers course in eastern cape it doesnt matter if its a college or univesity

    THANK YOU

  6. Hi my name is Thandiwe Madhinda from Ixopo in KZN im also interested in Teaching career please help it can be College or University.

  7. Hi I am based in KZN , Durban pls Mr Minister we need Teachers College by now we should know when are they gonna be opened so we prepare our selfs for 2014 its going to creat more youth going back to school cos we can not all of us afford the Vasity fees pls be fast on this we real need it especialy in Durban they is lots of youth sitting and doing nothing but got a passion of studing Education Pls Pls Pls

    • Hi, I am based in Pinetown, KZN Minister doing nothing together withbrother Langa Kulati we are interested in studying teaching profession, we dont know where to go. we are ready for 2014 if is there any way. we encourage the re-oening of Teachers colleges

  8. Hi I am Langa Kulati I am based in Pinetown a brother to Sesethu Kulati who also submitted his comment and concern about our request for re-opening of Teachers Colleges we are desparately in need to be trained as teachers commencing in 2014. We strongly encourage the re-opening of these colleges and I would also like to know where will be the nearest college to us

  9. I will like to apply for the teachers training college concerning the year 2014. Counting on your co operation and assistance. Thank you .

  10. Hi I like to know teachers college are already starting in this years and where are found in Eastern Cape

  11. I would like to enter into the teaching world and I would like to do it in Eastern Cape.Any news on how I can access the teaching college and bursary I Eastern Cape?

  12. I would like to become a Grade R to Grade 3 teacher. I would like to study in the Port Elizabeth area. I want to study at a teachers training college please.

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