Teachers' support programmes

The Rössing Foundation aims to strengthen teachers’ skills in implementing inquiry-based and or Life-wide learning and enhance their pedagogical content knowledge through care fully tailored teacher-support programmes that are designed to respond to identified weaknesses in teaching and learning.

The Rössing Foundation’s Mathematics, Science and English education officers are continuously engaged in educational research to explore best practices in the teaching and learning of Mathematics, Science and English. These are consequently shared through Teacher Professional Development programmes.

 

Centre-based support programmes

During the reporting year the Arandis and Tamariskia centres supported 68 Grade 10 to Grade 12 Mathematics, Sciences and English teachers from coastal schools in organising and conducting practical sciences activities, both at school and at the centres.

School teachers utilised the centres for lesson preparation, creating worksheets, and face-to- face teaching of learners. Acquiring skills aimed at encouraging learners to register for subjects at Higher Level was also addressed during interaction sessions.

Targeted support was offered to teachers with the objective of equipping them with skills in practical Science experiments in order to improve their learners’ academic performance; they were also able to familiarise themselves with the compound microscope (for studying unicellular organisms) as well as with other laboratory accessories and apparatus. Teachers also acquainted themselves with the use of the computerised Master Maths Programme.

A further 206 English teachers, mainly from the Erongo Region, were trained at the Tamariskia Centre in subject content and pedagogical knowledge and skills. This training was done by the Rössing Foundation team in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.

A teacher from the Swakopmund Secondary School was assisted with her University of South Africa Master’s degree research proposal in Life Sciences.

In the north of Namibia, 115 Mathematics teachers were supported by the Ondangwa Centre in areas including lesson preparation, development of teaching materials, accessing Master Maths Programme resources, and setting examinations.

A further 88 Science teachers were also supported by the Ondangwa Centre, either for pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) training, acquiring skills in setting examinations, or to be supported with teaching and learning resources.

In terms of English language activities, the Ondangwa Centre supported another 25 Senior Primary teachers in orientation for the implementation of the revised curriculum for Grade 7.

 

Outreach Support Programmes

As part of our outreach activities, 561 teachers from different regions were supported through professional development training at the Foundation’s three centres.

A total of 205 Science teachers were supported through outreach programmes by the Ondangwa Centre team, of which 117 teachers were trained in either PCK for Biology and Physical Science; designing and developing practical investigation worksheets; or in judging Mathematics and Science Fair projects. Of the 117 teachers, 71 were from OUTREACH SUPPORT PROGRAMMES Zambezi Region, 11 from Hardap Region, 18 from Omusati Region, and 17 from Oshana Region.

Eight Grade 10 Mathematics teachers from Hardap Region and 23 Grade 10 Mathematics teachers from Zambezi Region were trained in PCK in topics identified from needs assessments. The different training activities covered demonstration lessons and co-teaching, while lesson observations and feedback discussions were used to enhance the skills shared. Hands-on PCK training for the Higher Level Mathematics teachers through demonstration lessons, team preparation, and teaching was also utilised. Teachers emerged from these activities with positive attitudes towards the concept-based learning approach.

Thirty English Language teachers from the Zambezi Region were supported in PCK by the Rössing Foundation team, while 70 teachers from the Hardap Region were supported in sound reading.

 
(Fltr) The Executive Director of Rössing Foundation, Mr Job Tjiho, Mrs Ernfriede Stephanus-Kauraisa, Deputy Director Education of the Hardap Region, and Mr Mzingisi Gqwede, Director Education, signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Rössing Foundation and the Hardap Region's Education department.   Rössing Foundation was tasked to train 150 school boards in the Hardap and Ohangwena regions as part of the social accountability and school governance project initiated by UNICEF.

 

The Arandis and Swakopmund centres supported 200 teachers from the Zambezi, Hardap, Omusati and Oshana regions. They were trained through outreach programmes in PCK for Biology and Physical Science; designing and developing practical investigation worksheets; and in Mathematics and Science Fair judging.

A training intervention was also organised and presented to 20 teachers from six schools in the Omaruru Circuit to address difficulties experienced in setting, moderating, controlling of the set- up and implementing internal school-based tests and examinations for Grades 5 to 7 in Mathematics, Science, English and Health Education.

The education officers from the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture's Advisory Services and the Rössing Foundation’s Science education officers in the Erongo Region trained teachers from the Martin Luther High School and the Ûbasen Junior Secondary School (both located in the village of Okombahe in the Erongo Region), the Da- Palm Secondary School (a rural school in Otjimbingwe in the Erongo Region), and the Karibib Junior Secondary School. The education officers coached the teachers in teaching the Sciences through model lessons.

 

Other Interventions

 

Centre support

In addition to the outreach programmes that are arranged on specific requests by the various schools, the Rössing Foundation education centres remain popular destinations for school tours and holiday classes from all the regions of Namibia.

During 2015, more than 1,000 teachers and learners were exposed to the three education centres during familiarisation tours, including those from Witkrans Primary School in Hardap Region, John A. Pandeni Combined School (Omusati Region), Usakos Secondary School and Okaepe Primary School (Otjozondjupa Region), Amazing Kids Private School (Khomas Region), and the Friedtjo Nasen Akademie from Germany.

Support such as these enable the Foundation to form working relationships with schools by providing resources to Mathematics, Science and English teachers.

 

Professional forums

The Ondangwa Centre supported 40 teachers through professional development presentations at the Oshana Region E-learning conference.

 

Networking and partnerships

The Rössing Foundation’s Mathematics education officers participated in the curriculum review panels at the National Institute for Educational Development.

The education officers for Mathematics, Science and English attended the educational improvement strategy meetings of both the Oshikoto and Omusati regions aimed at reviewing the 2014 academic performance of the regions and mapping out improvement strategies for 2015. Both regions resolved to continue making use of Rössing Foundation support.

The Ondangwa Centre also supported three teachers studying with the University of the Free State, who made use of the centre as a venue for writing their examinations.

The Ondangwa Centre also supported eight English advisory teachers and 22 Grade 10 and 12 English teachers from Ohangwena Region in the regional strategic planning of activities for 2015.

 

District Teacher's Resource Centre at Ondangwa Centre

The District Teachers’ Resource Centre that was opened at Rössing Foundation’s Ondangwa Centre in 2014 continued to serve teachers who would otherwise have had to travel long distances to the Ongwediva Teachers’ Resource Centre.

Most of the regional education activities in the year under review took place at this District Teachers’ Resource Centre, including training workshops, meetings, and setting examinations. A total of 77 teachers were trained there in basic computer skills, while 200 teachers utilised the library and 629 the computer laboratory, thus 906 users benefited from District Teachers’ Resource Centre services in 2015.

 

Social accountability and school governance

In 2012, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in partnership with the then Ministry of Education (now Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture) and funded by the European Union, initiated the Social Accountability and School Governance in the Education Sector in Namibia project with the overall aim of promoting involvement in quality education delivery as a shared responsibility of key stakeholders in Namibia.

The purpose of the project is to strengthen social accountability and school governance in the education sector in Namibian in order to contribute to an improved efficiency in the system with regard to delivering quality learning outcomes at primary and secondary levels.

The initial three-year project was subsequently extended for another year and ended in October 2015. Rössing Foundation, as an implementing partner, was tasked during the latter part of the project execution (2015), with training school boards, as per its agreement with UNICEF Namibia.

Rössing Foundation ended its involvement in the project having trained 150 school boards in the Hardap and Ohangwena regions (56 school boards in Hardap Region and 94 in Ohangwena Region).

School boards were trained on using social accountability tools and model systems to monitor school performance and thus contribute towards education sector monitoring at local, regional, and national levels.

The skills and knowledge the board members acquired would have further reinforced their ability to undertake their roles and responsibilities in regard to social accountability and school governance, enabling them to participate in the performance monitoring and promotion of accountabilities from bottom-up level.

The Rössing Foundation conducted the following project activities in 2015:

  • Key stakeholders — such as regional authorities and traditional authorities — were sensitised on the involvement of community members in education through local and traditional leadership.
  • A baseline study was conducted to determine the dynamics of school communities.
  • A School Board Training Guide was compiled and used to train school boards.
  • A total of 150 school boards received training, obtaining information on the right to education; education purposes, policies and practices; monitoring education performance; and the use of social accountability tools.
  • Platforms were created between schools and between the Hardap and Ohangwena regions for sharing good practices.

Not all members of the school boards could be present at the selected training dates. Of the 1,393 members of the 150 schools boards, a total of 1,033 were trained, representing 74 per cent. The table below indicates the number of schools and participants that were trained.