UNIZULU and School principals in Partnership to Develop Professional Practice Knowledge for Teaching

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UNIZULU and School principals in Partnership to Develop Professional Practice Knowledge for Teaching

UNIZULU and School principals in Partnership to Develop Professional Practice Knowledge for Teaching

In a decisive step towards changing the educational landscape, the Faculty of Education at the University of Zululand hosted a principal workshop at the Bon Hotel to build mutually beneficial collaborations with the neighbouring schools. The workshop was attended by 48 principals from neighbouring schools as well as teachers responsible for mentoring student teachers during teaching practice. The targeted district was King Cetshwayo District. This forum aimed to bring together principals and educators to discuss and develop stronger partnerships that benefit both teacher preparation and student learning.

Themed “Strengthening UNIZULU’s Teaching Practice partnership with schools.” The workshop aimed at exploring what it takes to develop a “learning place” conducive to student teachers’ development of professional practice knowledge and the role of mentoring in this regard.

The Dean of the faculty, Professor Sithabile Ntombela in her purpose of the meeting said that it was heartwarming to learn that most schools are happy about the students and the faculty’s contribution in terms of the teachers produced by UNIZULU. A few issues outside the agenda were brought up which could not be tackled in the time available, and it was decided that an Indaba would be planned for later in the year.  “You contribute significantly to the success of the faculty. Without schools, we would not have the faculty of Education. By fostering a collaborative environment, this forum can lead to a more effective partnership between the Faculty of Education and schools, ultimately benefiting both future teachers and student learning.” Explained Prof Ntombela.

The workshop served as a platform for sharing ideas and strategies to elevate the quality of education, ultimately enriching students’ learning experiences. Discussions revolved around creating adaptability, paving the way forward, and Networking Opportunities. The dean also highlighted the importance of partnership. She urged the teachers to facilitate learning and to make provision for teacher training, as learners need empowered teachers to become productive citizens.

Presentations: These were given, highlighting innovative teaching practices or successful partnerships. Presentations also dealt with equipping students to meet the needs of the global citizenry, the roles of Higher Education Institutes and schools in guiding learners to choose correct careers. By working together, the Faculty of Education and school principals can create a more robust and effective system for preparing and supporting teachers. This will ultimately lead to a better educational experience for all students. This was highlighted by a principal who spoke on school experience with UNIZULU students, Nxumalo from Ngqulunga Primary School.

The meeting was also attended by the Chief Education Specialist, Mr Dube, who made significant contributions to the discussions. He indicated that District ‘Stakeholder events such as this suggest that we have a supportive institution. “Institutions like UNIZULU are excited and willing to partner. When we open doors to our learners, we make profound advancements to young lives with a very positive ripple effect,” affirmed Mr Dube.

Precious Shamase

Picture by : Xolani Ncube