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13 Apr

Barriers to Learning – Working with our Grade 3 Teachers

Added by : Nobesuthu Myoli

The GM South Africa Foundation is piloting a new Barriers to Learning programme in 2017. The purpose of this programme is to help school communities address barriers to learning amongst their children by equipping teachers to support learners in their classroom and parents to help their children at home.

To maximize the number of teachers and parents we could reach with this programme we decided to

Letters of invitation were sent to schools participating and we were overwhelmed by the response

On our teacher workshops, the atmosphere is always charged with excitement. For some teachers the Department of Education’s SIAS Policy document (policy on screening, identification, assessment and support) was a completely new document. Other teachers had heard about SIAS, but did not have their own copy and did not have a clear understanding of what was expected from them in the implementation of the policy in their schools.

In the first two workshops teachers were introduced to SIAS Policy by a way of group discussions. I was responsible to support and guide the 20 Grade 3 teachers participating in the workshops. These are my observations of the work they did in analysing and teaching each other about key sections of the SIAS policy:

From these observations I saw that the sharing of information in such a manner empowers all participants. What also stood out was how confident and passionate was each person who stood to report as a result of this enthusiasm there was a nice buzz as we clapped hands for each report because it was educational to others as well. People were gaining a better understanding of various concepts. When all presentations were done I summarized by thanking everybody for their contributions because their enthusiasm showed that it will not be difficult for them to share with their colleagues when they go back to schools.

SIAS Policy highlights: the whole group composed a song (Ngu SIAS lo esimthandayo) meaning we love this SIAS and we are going to implement it until lives of children change. I enjoyed guiding the contributions from various members and hope the passion showed will be taken to schools and schools will work with the department with a better understanding.

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