Sacap mobilizes to help meet the need for SA teachers

The provision of quality education remains the most critical factor in achieving true individual freedom and improving the quality of life for all. Despite massive government investment and successive waves of curriculum reform, little progress has been made in delivering quality teaching and learning in South Africa. The persistent poor performance of learners in the country on national and international standardized tests is a testament to insufficient improvement in real skills and knowledge and an education system that fails to be transformative.

This is largely impacted by the drastic shortage of experienced educators in South Africa, which is compounded by a high rate of attrition due to retirement, emigration and career changes. The government has made repeated calls for the private higher education sector to join forces in responding to the need to scale up the training of educators to facilitate a curriculum fit for today’s world.

Sacap (The South African College of Applied Psychology), one of the best private higher education institutions in the country, is taking up this challenge. Sacap has announced the launch of its first Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and Higher Education and Training (PGCE) for trainee teachers who wish to qualify as Higher Stage (SP) and Higher Education and Training (FET). Life Orientation and Guidance, Counseling and Learner Support Specialist Educators.

According to Sacap’s new PGCE program manager Dr Rajandran Naidoo, schools in South Africa face severe resource limitations, particularly in terms of psychosocial support and counselling. He says, “Based on the current staffing of Specialist Support for Learners and Educators (SLES) at the district level, it is not uncommon to find a single psychologist and social worker responsible for psychosocial and emotional needs. approximately 20,000 children spread over fifteen to twenty-five schools. This means that teachers working in schools where communities face poverty, crime, violence and gangsterism must deal with considerable trauma and mental health issues on a daily basis without access to psychosocial support. in the school community.

“However, this scenario is not limited to communities where poverty is prevalent. Learners in the wealthiest schools also face social and emotional challenges. Children are children, no matter where they come from, and all are vulnerable to the significant challenges of contemporary life. Without proper support, these tests of social and emotional stress could be very debilitating and devastating to learners’ psyches and impact their learning abilities. physical, emotional and mental well-being learners in all our school communities.

Sacap’s PGCE programme, which focuses on guidance and life guidance, counseling and specialist support for learners, will be available at its Johannesburg and Cape Town campuses. The PGCE is an NQF 7 vocational training program and runs for 12 months full-time.

Enrollment is open to undergraduate degree holders with a specialization in psychology who aim to develop targeted knowledge and skills as teachers. Sacap PGCE graduates will be able to register with the South African Council of Educators (SACE) as teachers.

Dr Naidoo says: “While many public higher education institutions offer both the Bachelor of Education (BEd.) as well as the PGCE, Sacap believes that given the critical role education plays in building of a nation and the magnanimity of the task of educating our youth to equip them with the skills, knowledge and values ​​required for today’s rapidly changing world, there is a critical need for teacher education programs which focus not only on content-based subjects, but also on the social and emotional development of the learner. In fact, a focus on the social and emotional development of the learner should be a prerequisite for all other learning, to ensure that the learner is free from all obstacles that might impede learning, s are fully engaged in the content of the lesson and are thus able to maximize their potential. »

With its institutional orientation rooted in applied psychology, Sacap’s PGCE will develop pedagogical skills in the area of ​​life guidance as well as core guidance and counseling skills for learning support educators. Graduates of this program will develop the ability to provide psychoeducation as well as offer transformative counseling support to learners. The educational program is also designed for students to actively develop an enhanced personal capacity to deal with trauma and stress more effectively.

Dr. Jaclyn Lotter, academic dean of Sacap, highlights the practical aspect of the PGCE. “The Sacap PGCE offers intellectual enrichment as well as intensive, cutting-edge and applied specialization, which meets the requirements of a specific niche in education,” she explains. “Our program includes a relevant, structured and supervised work-integrated learning (WIL) component that is formally assessed. WIL provides exposure to real-life experiences of the varied and contrasting contexts of schooling in South Africa and enables future teachers to put theory into professional practice. Sacap focuses on training competent teachers dedicated to providing quality education, with high levels of performance as well as ethical and professional standards of conduct consistent with the needs of the country.

Graduates of the Sacap PGCE will be well prepared not only to deliver a high quality education, but also to undertake further studies such as honors or master’s degrees, thereby enhancing their knowledge and professional skills while becoming eligible for further study. new career prospects.

To register for Sacap Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Further and Higher Education and Trainingvisit www.sacap.edu.za.

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