The Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes (PILO) is a multi-stakeholder, district–wide intervention. Its objective is to improve district and school capacity to deliver the curriculum and subsequently bring about gains in learner outcomes. Currently PILO, with its partners, is rolling out Jika iMfundo Programm1 in KwaZulu-Natal – Pinetown and UThungulu Districts.
The Zenex Foundation has played an integral role in the inception, development and implementation of PILO interventions, particularly the structured learning programmes which include Lesson Plans, Curriculum Trackers and Training and Support. The Foundation commissioned a snapshot evaluation report to understand the rate of adoption of the curriculum trackers in participating schools in KwaZulu-Natal province. This aids continuous development and identification of critical areas for immediate intervention.
This snapshot does not attempt to evaluate the entire Jika iMfundo programme, it only aims to generate insight on the rate of implementation; adoption and uptake of curriculum trackers and Foundation Phase Heads of Department (HODs) supervision and support to Foundation Phase teachers, through the adoption of this new routine practice. It was conducted using a formative evaluation design. Data was collected using focus group discussions; observations and document analysis, it was thereafter thematically analysed.
Findings revealed that HODs and teachers perceive the project as making an attempt to break down the CAPS and help teachers master it and ensure that there is 100% curriculum coverage and improvement in the ANA results. Furthermore, there was a general acceptance of the project among HODs and teachers. Evidence showed that the project brought about improved teacher practices and learning practices. However, teachers are critical of the projects cascade model; the level of reflections among HODs and teachers is inconsistent and there is poor adoption of the project activities in schools with large classes. The negative influence of the materials on teacher practice; language issues; teacher development and training and assessment were identified as challenges that HODs faced in the implementation process. Lastly, parental involvement was reported to have improved as a result of the homework component in the project.
As a recommendation, it may be worthwhile to invest in further training and development of HODs and teachers particularly on the use of curriculum trackers. Although, materials were not part of the evaluation, participants recommended further materials development to address the teaching and learning pace.
1. Jika iMfundo is a programme to improve learning outcome in KwaZulu-Natal. It is designed and managed by PILO (Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes)