Awarenet is branching out and preparing a new course directed at educators teaching in higher grades in South African schools. The idea is that teachers be taught how to use awarenet constructively in the classroom, thereby making the educational content more fun, interactive and informative for students. Anyone who has stood in front of a class of teenagers will know that the biggest challenge is to make the students genuinely interested in the subject concerned, the awarenet course will therefore introduce teachers to curriculum-related content from both the internet and the awarenet platform itself which can be used to stimulate learners who are used to a more traditional blackboard and textbook approach.
The teacher’s course will be offered separately to teachers in different subjects such as history, English, maths and life orientation. That way we will be able to focus on how a teacher can deepen the understanding and educational outcomes of learners in the specific subject she or he is teaching.
We aim to register our teacher’s course with the relevant SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) in order for the course to commence in the beginning of 2017. SETAs are governmental organisations in South Africa which regulate the training of skills in different sectors of the economy, thereby creating a uniform framework where only courses which fulfil certain standards are approved. This means that teachers who are attending our course will receive credits for it which will count as building blocks in any kind of further education they are pursuing. In order to comply with the SETA requirements it is not enough to have a course which is academically sound, a host of other requirements such as a fire compliance certificate and wheelchair access to our premises at Joza Youth Hub are also needed. In addition, we are required to show up-to-date policies on everything from employment practices to learner’s code of conduct and give evidence of financial viability by providing budgets and long-term business plans. It is a long but useful bureaucratic process which hopefully will make us well prepared to spread knowledge of awarenet into the ranks of teachers through our course in 2017.