GPLMS PROJECT OVERVIEW

 

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Origins

The GPLMS is the Gauteng Department of Education’s response to President Zuma’s policy for all Grade Three, Six and Nine learners to write annual language and mathematics tests that are independently moderated, and to increase the pass rates of these tests from the current average of 35 - 40 % to at least 60 % by 2014.

Goals and Pillars of Development

The goal of the GPLMS is therefore to ensure that at least 60% of all learners achieve 50% or more in the Annual National Assessments.

In order to achieve this goal, the GPLMS focusses on four pillars of development.

  • The first pillar involves supporting assessment and then measuring language and mathematics results by participating in Annual National Assessments from Grades 1 - 6.
  • The second pillar involves strengthening the teaching of language and mathematics with the provision of appropriate resources and training programmes. These resources and training programmes are implemented and supported by GPLMS coaching and mentoring staff.
  • The third pillar deals with improving programmes of learner support. Linking with NGOs, providing homework and family support as well as developing school libraries are the essential elements of this pillar.
  • Improving the management of language and mathematics teaching and learning is the fourth pillar. This pillar focuses on developing district officials and school SMTs.


Service Provider Implementation

The GPLMS is currently run in 832 schools across all 15 districts of the province. All language and mathematics teachers and learners in project schools are supported by the project. District Officials and School Management Teams are also beneficiaries of the programme.

The GPLMS has contracted 13 service providers to work in the project. Every service provider employs an allocated number of GPLMS coaches, who work directly with the teachers, and an allocated number of supervisors, who manage the coaches. Every coach works with between 25 and 30 teachers. There are three types of GPLMS coach:

Foundation Phase Coaches
  • FP coaches support all Grade 1 to Grade 3 teachers in a school.

  • FP coaches offer language specific support to schools. For example, if a school offers isiZulu and Sepedi as Home Language options, the GPLMS will deploy both an isiZulu and a Sepedi coach to that school.

  • FP coaches also offer English First Additional Language support in schools where the Home Language is not English.

  • In addition, FP coaches support all Grade 1 – 3 teachers in Mathematics teaching and learning.

Intersen Phase Language Coaches
  • IP language coaches support all Grade 4 to Grade 7 English teachers in a school.

  • The language coaches are trained to offer English support at both Home Language and First Additional Language level, depending on the policy of the school.

Intersen Phase Mathematics Coaches
  • IP Maths coaches support all Grade 4 to Grade 7 Maths teachers in a school.

 

 

Supervisors monitor and quality assure the performance of all coaches, and are responsible for the development and training of coaches, together with the service provider management team.

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Materials

In collaboration with the LTSM unit of the GDE, reading books and mathematics text books were selected and purchased for all GPLMS project schools. A Foundation Phase reading series in 10 of the official languages has also been developed and provided to schools. The provision of these Home Language reading materials to schools is unprecedented, and a major accomplishment of the GPLMS.

In addition, the GPLMS management team appointed service providers to develop the lesson plans, assessment tasks and training programmes used in this project. This ensures that all materials are custom developed to incorporate the selected reading books and textbooks, and to meet the needs of the target audience.

More details on the development of the language and mathematics materials is available in the Language Overview and Mathematics Overview sections. All materials are available for download in the Document Download section of this website.

District Facilitators carry out the following responsibilities:

  • District Facilitators distribute scripted lesson plans and assessment tasks to teachers at the start of every term.
  • They then train teachers on the implementation of these lesson plans and assessment tasks.
 

District Implementation

More recently, the GPLMS was introduced to an additional 158 schools in 15 districts of the province. (This brings the total number of GPLMS schools to 990).

Due to budgetary constraints, the project has been implemented in a slightly different manner in these schools.

  • The project has not supplied the prescribed reading books or maths textbooks. District Officials have however been trained on how to support schools on using their existing LTSM to implement the GPLMS progarmme. Additional GPLMS LTSM is purchased at the discretion of the SMT using the school’s own LTSM RTT budget.
  • Coaches and supervisors have not been allocated to these schools. Instead, District Facilitators have taken on some of the roles of the GPLMS coach as follows.
  • District Facilitators run some ‘Professional Learning Groups’ or PLGs with their teachers. These sessions are used to further train and develop teachers in the knowledge, skills and attitudes required by the programmes.
  • District Facilitators collect some data that is fed into the central database.
  • As far as possible, they monitor the implementation of the project.