WHY IS TEACHER TRAINING A HIGH PRIORITY?
As a legacy of apartheid, the majority of learners in South Africa today are taught by teachers who, through no fault of their own, could not do well in the school leaving mathematics exam themselves. Most children in South Africa have very poor chances of succeeding at school. This situation will only be changed by empowering teachers with subject knowledge and teaching skills.
GIVE A BURSARY TO TRAIN A TEACHER
Teachers travel by long distance bus from all parts of South Africa to attend a 10 day AIMSSEC residential course in the school holidays which is followed by 3 months distance learning. They work hard from breakfast time to bedtime. AIMSSEC needs to raise R7000 (US $540, £415) for each teacher who comes on one of our courses, which will cover all costs including tuition, travel, accommodation, food, stationery and a pack of teaching materials to take back to school. So far we helped over 1,774 teachers who have gone on to support over 100,000 learners and teachers in their districts! With an ever increasing waiting list, any donations to support this cause would be greatly appreciated
GIVE A BURSARY OF R28,500 (US$2700, £1600) TO TRAIN A TRAINER
The bursary enables teachers from disadvantaged communities to do a two year professional development course for training subject leaders. This blended learning programme, with 10 day residential courses in each year, caters for teachers from remote rural areas who do not have access to other training. The bursary covers tuition fees, books, internet access, travel, accommodation and food: costs that would otherwise be met by students themselves. The subject leaders in turn run workshops for other teachers and share ideas and resources through the AIMSSEC Teachers Network.
WHAT AIMSSEC PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES OFFER
A strong South African team of teacher trainers, assisted by international volunteers, help AIMSSEC run two types of professional development courses for mathematics teachers from historically-disadvantaged communities.
The preliminary three month course includes a ten day residential component with sixty-five hours of face to face tuition. Over the last ten years this course has been run 27 times and attended by a total of 1774 mathematics teachers and subject advisers from all parts of South Africa.
The residential courses are held in the school holidays and followed by the three months of distance learning. The teachers take away a large collection of resources for teaching mathematics. Evaluations are very positive with many comments like this one from a teacher from the Free State: “This course is one of the best that I have attended. The tutors, materials and other resources are up to standard”.
AIMSSEC COURSE TO TRAIN SUBJECT LEADERS
The preliminary course is followed by a two year Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT) course which is a part-time technology enhanced blended learning programme carrying an NQF level 6 qualification. This innovative two year professional development programme to train mathematics subject leaders has been delivered in partnership with North West University from 2016. It succeeds the Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) course that was first run in 2009 in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch, and later with Fort Hare University.
Since its launch over 215 teachers, subject advisers and field trainers have completed the two-year ACE course (instituted in 2009). The graduates contribute to AIMSSEC courses as teaching assistants.In addition to the residential and e-learning components of this course, participants attend Saturday sessions at one of the Stellenbosh University's Interactive Telematic classrooms, a network extending across South Africa which uses satellite and mobile technology to create virtual learning spaces for synchronous knowledge construction.
The course is designed with the needs of teachers from the more remote rural areas in mind. A network of school clusters across the country is being established.