The student-teacher internship space in South Africa remains largely fragmented with little stakeholder collaboration. Such inclusive collaboration is critical if we are to build a common and effective framework for student-teacher internships. Zenex and its partners are working to ensure that the many voices in the education sector are heard and taken into account.
The Zenex Foundation thus supports the Teacher Internship Collaboration South Africa (TICZA), an innovative vehicle through which government agencies, academia, and private sector funders are researching and designing internship models for teachers in training. Zenex’s partnership with TICZA is a continuation of our strategic involvement in Initial Teacher Education (ITE), ensuring we build on past studies and research findings (see Zenex’s Strategy for Supporting Initial Teacher Education (ITE).
The objectives of TICZA align with the Zenex Strategy 2025, which guides our work in evidence-based interventions with the potential to be replicated and scaled up to positively impact on the education system in South Africa. In line with the Zenex Strategy, the ultimate goals of TICZA are:
- In the short term, to influence and strengthen student-teacher internships conducted by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
- In the medium term, to influence policy related to student-teacher internships, and researching and evaluating viable internship models.
TICZA is a high-level multi-partner collaboration which unites the efforts of local and international funders and implementers, including the Departments of Basic Education (DBE) and Higher Education and Training (DHET), JET Education Services, Trialogue, and the Bertha Centre, among others. TICZA is governed by a Project Steering Committee (PSC) overseeing and coordinating the project.
As a collaboration designed to lead ideation in internships, TICZA brings together experts and specialist organisations recognised for their ongoing contribution to enhancing the quality of education. During the pre-project on-boarding phase, NGOs already implementing innovative student-teacher internship programmes were identified and brought together. This group includes Khanyisa-Inanda Community Project (KICP), the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA), Global Teachers Institute (GTI), and Save the Children.
TICZA will test various ground-breaking models to determine whether they are scalable, sustainable and will make a significant positive impact on ITE and the education system in South Africa as a whole. To promote sharing and uptake of best practices, TICZA will set up learning forums and dissemination platforms.
The work of TICZA will be rolled out over five years from 2021-2025. The inception phase in 2021 will focus on mapping the sector; developing an M&E framework, toolkit, and shared instruments with core indicators. The second phase will run from 2022-2025 with a focus on evaluating various models, unpacking their theories of change, and formulating best practice for refining strategies to emerge with an internship model that can be adopted in a systemic way. A road map will be created to guide continued collaboration among TICZA implementers.
As an intensive collaboration, TICZA has the capacity to attain several high-impact outcomes, as described below.
- Establishment of a collaboration forum of project contributors, implementers and funding agencies dedicated to achieving high-quality ITE across the sector.
- Development of standards and tools for the recruitment and support of student-teachers in distance education by means of internship programmes.
- Expanded opportunities for extensive research in the field through collaborations with higher education institutions. This engagement in meaningful large-scale research and M&E will culminate in the development of evidence-based policy and ITE practices and models that will bring about qualitative change in the education of teachers in South Africa.