Research Seminar: Reflections on Initial Teacher Education and implications for quality education in South Africa

Dr Sizwe Nxasana holds a BCom, BCompt (Hons), CA (SA) qualifications and was conferred with honorary doctorates by the UFS, DUT, UJ and WSU.

He is a former Chief Executive Officer of Telkom and was responsible for its listing on the JSE and New York Stock exchanges. He was also the CEO of FirstRand Banking Group since 2005 until he retired in September 2015. Dr Nxasana serves as Chairman of various Foundations and Trusts, including being a former Chairperson of NSFAS.

He is now a social entrepreneur who founded Future Nation Schools. He also founded Sifiso Learning Group, which is involved in EdTech, academic and non-academic publishing and real estate.

Background and Initial research questions

  • Despite significant investment by the fiscus and donors in basic education, the quality of learning and teaching continues to lag behind when compared to our peer group (2016 PIRLS, 2015PISA, 2019 Global competitiveness, 2019 TIMMS data).
  • Initial Teacher Education (ITE) has been criticized as one of the main causes for the poor standard and quality of Education in SA (Smuts: 2018, Sarah Gravett & Rika Kroon (2021)).
  • Having started the Future Nation Schools in 2017 and completed my PGCE in 2021 with 2 different universities, my wife and I have observed many challenges in ITE.
  • Future Nation Schools employ more than 110 teachers across two campuses and uses Project-Based Learning (PBL) as its approach to learning and teaching across all grades.

Initial Research Questions:

  1. Given many developments in Basic Education in South Africa, are universities producing an adequate supply of teachers in the right areas to support curriculum development and quality improvements in SA?
  2. Are ITE programmes preparing Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) to deliver quality education in SA?

Initial Research Approach:

  • Quantitative analysis of the DHET HEMIS 2013 to 2019 statistics on ITE enrolment and graduation numbers.
  • Informal interviews of a number of teachers at Future Nation Schools
  • My own reflections and analysis of my PGCE programme experience and that of my Wife Dr Judy Dlamini

Date and Time: 24 March 2022 (13:30 – 14:30)

Click here to download and access the Microsoft Teams link at the bottom of the document: Research Seminar – 24 March