WCED: Curriculum Development
"We can revolutionize education through technology. If every learner is competent in the use of technology we create the thirst for knowledge each second. That is what education is about. It is about enquiry, pursuit of the truth and self learning. Technology creates those conditions for optimal learning since we can take learners to the world and bring the world to the classroom". In the final analyses we must all pursue knowledge in this rapidly changing world if we want to remain relevant. Technology becomes the most important tool for this purpose.
Welcome to the Curriculum Development website. As our work environment continues to change, the skills and knowledge required of our learners will change. Research in the US and in 16 Euro zone countries tell us that there is a decline in middle-skill jobs which has been detrimental to the earnings and labour force participation rates of workers without a four-year. One factor that we are very aware of is that not enough of our learners are reading, writing and calculating.
Therefore we need to create the conditions for all our learners to reach the grade norms in literacy and numeracy in the early years. This will enable us to keep more children in school and provide the universities and the labour market with sufficient graduates. Critical thinking, flexibility, imagination and adapatibility are important ingredients for learners to succeed in the post school environment. We will have Khanya labs in all schools providing a technology base that support our learners adapatibilty and capacity to succeed and making a contribution to global economic and social forces. The computers in the Khanya lab bring the world to the classroom and the classroom to the world. Our telematics programme brings lessons live to our matriculants using the best teachers in the province. It is a great opportunity to almost 120 schools. The moodle platforms allows learners, teachers and all education stakeholders to interact online. We will use the electronic whiteboard to compensate for poverty in terms of learning. Since many working class children do not get first hand experiences we will use the whiteboard to bring to the classroom second hand experiences so they can move from the concrete to the abstract more speedlily.
More recently our Revised Curriculum will provide opportunities for less adminstration on the part of the teacher and a more focused subject with clear guidance on what to teach, work per term and more specific information that is very user-friendly. The Assessment area has also been tidied up with clear assessment guidelines. So learners and teach will know what to assess. This will impact significantly on the nature and extent of our tests in grade 3, 6 and 9. It is hoped that all stakeholders in education will embrace the CAPS documents which attempt to ensure that we provide our learners with the quality education they deserve.
Curriculum has always been a contested area. Any text on curriculum over the last century will reveal the contestations from epistemology to the challenges of classroom practice. We should not suffer from intellectual panic. That debate will rage on but we must ensure that each of us makes it possible that every learner gets the opportunity to learn, read, write and calculate. We must all be aware of the non negotiables which is to provide each learner with an opportunity. Education is about educare, it is about taking care of children. In practice this means that every child is provided with an opportunity to read, write and calculate. Despite poverty or another other factor every child counts and should be given the best opportunity to succeed. We must remember that the highest point in education is service. That ultimately is what the curriculum is about.
I look forward to speaking with you
Dr. Sigamoney Naicker