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Teacher Internship Collaboration South Africa

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08.03.2022

Teacher Internship Collaboration South Africa (TICZA) 

Introduction

This project supports the second phase of the Teacher Internship Collaboration aimed at improving teaching practice for student-teachers. Prior the initiative, the internship space was fragmented with little collaboration between providers, including higher education institutions (HEIs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The initiative’s goals for the first phase rolled out in 2021, which have been achieved, include stakeholder advocacy, knowledge sharing sessions, development of knowledge products, outcomes mapping, monitoring and evaluation. The second phase is aimed at supporting TICZA’s collaboration of role players to continue building a sustainable, economically viable teacher internship model.

Overview

Since the first phase of the project, 17 internship service providers have joined TICZA. The internship models participating in TICZA are designed to offer either 2-year, 3-year, or 4-year internships, or Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) internships.

A Project Steering Committee made up of 49 representatives from the DBE, DHET, South African Council for Educators (SACE), funders, Initial Teacher Education (ITE) curriculum implementers, and 11 universities is being coordinated by the consortium that initially conceptualised this project. The consortium is made up of Bertha Centre (UCT School of Business), BRIDGE, JET Education Services, and Trialogue. The consortium has deployed experienced staff to manage key aspects of the collaboration.

The second phase will be rolled out over four years with five major areas of activity, namely; implementer alignment, teacher practice/induction, cost modeling, advocacy, and sector-wide collaboration. The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework will be supported in 2022 by two external evaluations of the activities and collaboration efforts.

Objectives

The collaboration exists to deliver proof of concept to relevant government departments and universities that teacher internships improve teaching practice. The goals of this sector-wide collaboration are to:

  • Establish a multi-stakeholder, multi-institutional collaboration forum.
  • Develop standards and other measurable instruments and materials for teacher internship programmes supporting student-teacher learning via distance education.
  • Collaborate with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) through the Education Deans’ Forum to open opportunities for extensive research and implementation.
  • Identify/engage in meaningful research and M&E to influence policy and teacher training.
  • Strategic oversight and shared accountability by all involved in ITE, through the project steering committee and learning forums.

Outcomes

The project indicators of success at the end of the five-year period are:

  • Improved teacher practice via an internship, demonstrated by university take-up.
  • Modifiable resources/tools that improve efficiencies and effectiveness.
  • Applicable instruments that improve the offering by internship providers.
  • Closer communication between HEIs and NGOs (internship implementers) and alignment of common requirements/processes.
  • HEIs’, especially those offering distance education, successful adoption of the internship model for the practice component of the Bachelor of Education (BEd) programme.
  • Evidence of the effectiveness of internship models, the contributions of different components, and the cost-benefit of model components.
  • Defined roles and responsibilities of NGOs, HEIs, and government.
  • A developed costing model for DHET and implementers that ensures a successful internship programme.
  • Distance education institutions partner with non-profit implementing partners to manage the internship component, such as accreditation for implementing partners, placement schools, school-based mentors of interns, and short courses.
  • National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) influenced to provide equivalent bursaries for full-time and distance education BEd students.
  • SACE has the necessary processes in place to provide interns with provisional teacher accreditation.

Conclusion

For 12 years Zenex has worked toward improving teaching practice for distance education, with the Foundation Phase as a strategic focal point. Aligned with our Initial Teacher Education strategy, EXCO previously approved several initiatives such as Khanyisa-Inanda Internship Programme, and the Online BEd in Foundation Phase programme offered by University of Johannesburg (UJ).

These initiatives centre on the robust collection and use of evidence, and collaboration across organisations working on teacher internships in the sector. This aligns with Zenex’s emphasis on ensuring evidence-based interventions/projects and working collaboratively with stakeholders in the education sector who share a co

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