Improve the Quality of Teaching for Enhanced Learning

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) together with Sci-Bono Discovery Centre are implementing digital literacy training offered to 1500 lectures across 50 TVET colleges to enhance the quality of teaching for improved learning. The programme has a target to train 60% of females from the 1500 lectures. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the urgency to move quickly and close the gaps in digital literacy, which heavily hampers on the quality of teaching and learning for many South African learners in TVET colleges.

In 2021, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH conducted an in-depth study at all 50 TVET Colleges to assess the digital transformation readiness of the TVET Sector. The research found that TVET Colleges need substantial digital transformation awareness and training to become digitally transformed facilities which would enable more effective digital teaching and learning.

“Based on the research's recommendations, the department needs to offer a programme or initiative that will equip lecturers with the skills necessary for effective teaching and learning,” said Mr Sello Sethusha, Director of Lecturer Development and Support in the Department of Higher Education and Training.

The Digital Skills for Jobs and Income (DS4JI) project implemented by GIZ, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), supports DHET with the rollout of the Lecture Development Training programme to 50 TVET colleges and 1500 lecturers. The training provides capacity development to TVET lectures with digital competencies using existing digital media and applications for remote teaching and learning for students.

Sci-Bono facilitated onsite physical training for a total of 200 champion lectures at their training facilities in Johannesburg. Four lectures per TVET college were selected as champions for the programme which amounted to 200 champions across 50 TVET Colleges. The 200 trained champions will receive an accredited Microsoft and CISCO qualification after completing the training. In phase two of the programme, the selected champions will aid with the rollout of the online training to 1300 TVET lecturers on digital literacy and e-didactics.

“It steers us in a direction where the learners are geared to a more self-centred study, takingmore responsibility for their own learning. As much as I am there to provide them and guide them, meet them, and facilitate them, it will help them to do self-study more because now there are platforms where they can engage. There are materials there that they can scrutinise at any time of the day even if it’s late at night,” said, Robben Pedrew, Mathematics lecturer at West Coast college.

This initiative seeks to elevate the level of digital literacy in lecturers to provide quality education to students to improve their digital skills and work readiness for students after completing their qualifications.  The lecturers are eager to learn and transition from the traditional way of teaching to digitized teaching and learning.

“There are tools that we need currently to be moving onto using the teaching and learning environment. I believe it will enhance and advance students’ experiences and understanding of the subject content, which will be more digitalised. You know instead of using the old traditional approach of teaching,” said, Lukhanyo.

DHET looks forward to having TVET Colleges with improved digitally skilled lecturers for smooth learning and for teaching to continue. The use of digital platforms in the learning environment creates a sense of self-study whereby students can always refer to what they have been taught in the classroom on their own time, at any place.