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A letter to Educators and School leaders

Updated: May 16, 2021

It is hard to imagine a time when the opportunity and need to transform South African education has been greater. To be college and career ready today, student learning must go beyond mastery of core subjects and include 21st century knowledge and skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and technology literacy.

The South African Council of Educators (SACE) and the Great North Business Incubator(GNBI) believe new teacher candidates must be equipped with 21st century knowledge and skills and learn how to integrate them into their classroom practice for our nation to realize its goal of successfully meeting the challenges of this century. This is not a matter of teaching either academic

“To keep South Africa competitive, and to make the South African dream of equal educational opportunity a reality, we need to recruit, reward, train, learn from, and honour a new generation of talented teachers. But the bar must be raised for successful teacher preparation programs because we ask much more of teachers today than even a decade ago. Today teachers are asked to achieve significant academic growth for all students at the same time that they instruct students with ever- more diverse needs. Teaching has never been more difficult, it has never been more important, and the desperate need for more student success has never been so urgent. Are we adequately preparing future teachers to win this critical battle?”

This is an exciting and challenging time for teacher educators. The nature of teaching is changing. In an effort to transform themselves into exemplary educator preparation institutions, many programs are becoming more entrepreneurial, recognising new opportunities and making changes required to respond to the needs of 21st century learners. Today as never before, meeting our society’s challenges demands educational excellence.

Reinvigorating the economy, achieving energy independence with alternative technologies and green jobs, and strengthening our health care system require a skilled populace that is ready for the critical challenges we face. There is widespread consensus, however, that our education systems are failing to adequately prepare all students with the essential 21st century knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in life, career and citizenship. We are hopeful that our programs will stimulate conversation and ideas that can enrich your transformative efforts.

Against the backdrop of a severe downturn in our economy, changing state, COVID19 pandemic and national policies, and rising accountability and expectations, the challenges of embedding 21st century knowledge and skills are great. Great challenges require bold leadership. We are hopeful that our programs will stimulate conversation and ideas that can enrich your transformative efforts. Have a look at our programs and decide to transform today and enrol for the 21st century educator preparedness professional development training programs.

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