|South African College for Open Learning: A Model of an Inservice Distance Education Programme for Initial Teacher Education (CIE, 2002, 37 p.)|
The Teacher Audit (Hofmeyr & Hall 1995) estimated that about one-third of the teachers in South Africa have less than the M+31 qualification. These teachers are categorised as unqualified teachers and are required to gain the qualifications up to the compulsory M+3.
1 This is oldspeak nomenclature of qualifications.
One route to gaining the necessary qualification is enrolling for programmes while teaching which are offered through distance education. The South African College for Open Learning (SACOL) is one of the institutions, which offers courses to unqualified teachers by distance education. SACOL offers certificate2 and diploma courses to unqualified teachers. In addition SACOL offers Higher and Further Diplomas in Education to qualified teachers to upgrade their qualification.
2 These terms will be explained below.
This study is an evaluation of the SACOL teacher education programmes. Since the focus of the Multi-site Teacher Education Research (MUSTER) study is on initial training this study will focus on the certificate and diploma programmes. The report will firstly provide an overview of the development of teacher education programmes at SACOL. Secondly the study will provide an analytical description of the students, staff, infrastructure and resources. Thirdly, it will describe the SACOL programme for those who are registered for the certificate and diploma programme and will present an evaluation of the programme. Fourthly the survey will report on the aspirations and expectations of the SACOL students. The study will also analyse the costs (effectiveness and efficacy) of delivering teacher education through a distance medium. From 1 January 2001 SACOL will no longer exist and will be incorporated by the University of South Africa (UNISA). However, there will still be the delivery of programmes through distance education to practising teachers. This report will discuss the key issues for teacher education that develops out of this mode of training.