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The South African Mathematics and Science Teacher Intern Programme (SAMSTIP)

| September 9, 2019 | 0 Comments


The South African Mathematics and Science Teacher Intern Programme (SAMSTIP) draws on the quality education offered by Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) member schools to help solve a root cause of South Africa’s pressing skills shortage – the critical lack of qualified mathematics and science teachers.

This teacher internship provides an alternative, robust training model to supply quality teachers. Based on decades of ISASA schools’ experience, the opportunity involves schoolbased training, mentoring, and completion of a Bachelor of Education degree (BEd) or Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the University of South Africa (Unisa) by trainee teachers who are placed in ISASA member schools. Our programme is not designed to assist with upskilling existing teachers. It is an internship-based model which requires distance learning through a university and long-term placement at a participating professional development host school (which may require an interprovincial move) for the duration of the period of study. The teacher-interns in the programme receive bursary benefits, and applicants must be able to fulfil all the requirements. The programme in its current form – previously known as the Mathematics & English (M&E) programme – commenced in January 2017. The shift was necessitated by the high demand for senior and further education and training (FET)1 mathematics and science teachers.

A dedicated partnership

The programme is a partnership between the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Investec Bank (through its corporate social investment division) and ISASA, and our graduates are placed in public schools around the country. The partnership was borne out of the following:

• the DBE’s commitment to improve the quality of teaching and learning as well as the schooling system in South Africa

• Investec’s commitment to investing in social responsibility projects aimed at assisting and uplifting disadvantaged people and communities in South Africa

• ISASA, the largest organisation of independent schools in South Africa, with schools that meet its underlying principles of quality, values and diversity, is committed to facilitating the provision of an initial teacher development programme for the senior and FET phases, for mathematics and the sciences.

The following are our key deliverables:

• the recruitment of high-achieving individuals to study towards a PGCE or BEd, specialising in mathematics and sciences

• the identification of suitable public and independent professional development host schools

• the capacity building of mentors and heads of host schools

• the placement of teacher-interns in the host schools

• academic enrichment support to interns, and other valueadded services

• ultimately, the above should culminate in the provision of quality teachers of mathematics and sciences.

Lesiba Langa is the SAMSTIP operations coordinator at ISASA.


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Category: Spring 2019

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