Leading | Connecting | Learning

NECT-Led Projects National Teacher Pedagogy Research Study and the DBE Technical Assistance Project



Introduction to the National Teacher Pedagogy Research Study

The National Educational Collaboration Trust (NECT), founded in 2013, is an improvement initiative to support government in fulfilling the education goals outlined in Chapter 9 of the National Development Plan (NDP). NECT, the government, the private sector, and civil society have spearheaded various education improvement initiatives. Despite this extensive reach, the education system is still not making the hoped-for systemic progress. Previous studies have tended to be small-scale and context-specific, resulting in limited impacts.  To address this shortcoming, the National Teacher Pedagogy Research (NTPR) Study will provide a much-needed longitudinal study. This will be conducted in collaboration with 10 universities for which the Teaching, Teacher, and Teacher Education for Equitable and Quality Learning (TTTEQL) Consortium was created. 


This Study delves into the complexities of the South African education system and seeks solutions towards greater internal capacity and more equitable education. Activities in the Study include working on conceptual frameworks, developing instruments, analysing data, managing projects and budgets, and carrying out research at scale. Zenex’s contribution supports the capacity-building of emerging Black researchers selected from disadvantaged Black universities to form part of this two-year Study (2024-2026). Emerging researchers will shadow lead researchers and be exposed to various capacity development initiatives. Master’s and PhD students will be trained to undertake fieldwork which upskills them as emerging researchers.


The NTPR seeks to place in the public domain, including the education sector,  deeper insights into the South African education system to make a positive impact on the critical areas of teacher practices, pedagogical approaches, teaching methodologies and classroom conditions.

 Outputs and Outcomes

Emerging researchers will gain the following exposure to and experience in:

  • A large-scale longitudinal study;
  • Robust data collection covering interlocking aspects of education delivery;
  • Research reports and policy recommendations on aspects of teacher engagement to be used for enhanced policy development on equitable teaching practices and teacher training;
  • Capacity development in project and budget management, training and mentorship;
  • Stronger networks within the sector for collaboration purposes, with evidence of mutual collaboration;
  • Capacity development within the education and research sector with greater visibility of emerging researchers through fieldwork participation, publication outputs and conference presentations.

The overall outcome is strengthened education research infrastructure available to the policy development process in the education sector.

 Introduction to the NECT DBE Technical Assistance Project

The DBE struggles with its internal capabilities due to skill gaps related to data analysis, project-writing, financial management, and troubleshooting where programmes do not run as intended. NECT has reviewed the key skill gaps and initiated a Project offering technical support (technical assistance) to close them.


This is an intensive initiative to provide technical assistance to the DBE to increase its proficiency in navigating the complexities of programme implementation. Technical Assistants (TAs) will be deployed through various DBE branches and programmes, working within Business Intelligence, School Nutrition, Language and Literacy, Mother Tongue-Based Bilingual Education (MTBBE), Early Childhood Development (ECD), Mathematics and Curriculum strengthening. Zenex’s contribution to this Project spans strategic planning, consulting fees for the TAs, capacity building for DBE staff, and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).

 Outcomes and Anticipated Outputs

  • TA deployment;
  • Policy briefs;
  • Training modules;
  • Monitoring reports;
  • Enhanced capacity;
  • Contribution to effective reforms and improved programme management.

 M&E of the National Teacher Pedagogy Research Study and DBE Technical Assistance Project

Quality assurance for the National Teacher Pedagogy Research Project will be carried out by the universities involved in the consortium. An external evaluation will determine the impact of the capacity-building component. M&E for the TA Project will focus on the effectiveness and impact of the programme.


The NTPR Study aligns with Zenex’s vision of achieving research equity within the education system. This Project will provide a more nuanced understanding of the interrelated factors impacting teachers’ work which, in turn, can contribute to more effective professional development programmes for teacher trainees. The TA Project aligns with Zenex’s commitment to building greater DBE capacity in providing good quality education. M&E procedures are integral to both projects, with external evaluations included in both cases. This aligns with Zenex’s intent on strengthening the diverse pillars of the education ecosystem through rigorous M&E practices.

Recent posts in category : Senior Phase Projects and Evaluations | Senior Phase Research

Related Posts in Senior Phase Projects and Evaluations and Senior Phase Research categories :

Share This