Through the UFS School Partnership Project, implemented by the University of the Free State, schools are invited to apply to be part of this program and once selected, participating teachers are partnered with mentors. These mentors in Physical Science, Mathematics, and Accounting visit grade 10,11, and 12 subject teachers every week in the classroom to provide mentorship, coaching, and training. All of the mentors meet the criteria of being ex-teachers with a passion for their subject who possess strong content knowledge. The mentor’s time with the teacher is spent reflecting on lessons; planning in accordance with pacesetters, and helping to create a healthy rhythm in the classroom. The mentor will also occasionally present a lesson to the class. The participating schools are grouped in clusters to facilitate peer learning and collaboration. ICT resources are used in addition to the support provided to teachers in the classroom.
The School Management Mentor helps staff in each school in his/her cluster to improve their school management and leadership skills. Principals’ forums, School Management Team training, SA-SAMS ( a computer application specifically designed to meet the management, administrative and governance needs of public schools in Southern Afric) training and support, external leadership courses, etc. all contribute to the development of schools leadership teams.
In cooperation with the Free State Department of Education, the University of the Free State also runs the Internet Broadcast Project through which live and interactive curriculum support is provided to Grade 10 to 12 learners and teachers in 68 schools in the province using daily broadcasts by expert teachers in the same content areas.
Click here to see full program profile
CEI approaches in action
Total number of schools: 23
Total number of teachers trained: 180
- Teachers who have been mentored need to be encouraged to share their gained knowledge and skills with teachers of neighboring schools.
- To further work with and provide support to schools already in the program to establish centers of excellence, as opposed to adding additional schools to the program.
Monitoring & Evaluation
- The program uses examination results as barometer of success of the mentor and teacher partnerships.
- The mentor is able to assess teachers' implementation of good practices through regular visits to the teachers.