KST congratulates the Free State Province Grade 12 class of 2019 for their achievement for attaining 88.4% in the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations an increase of 0.9% from 2018. The Free State Province being geographically a farming and rural province has proven that with support, hard work, collective dedication and determination the opportunity of quality of education can be achieved for all. The province has outperformed some of the wealthiest and well-resourced provinces to attain the number one spot nationally for the third time.
KST in partnership with the Free State Department of Education have been implementing the District Whole School Development programme in primary and secondary schools in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo (Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo) districts which fall within Quintile 1, 2 and 3 for the past seven years. Providing support to schools with Empowerment and Transformation Workshops, Curriculum development, Infrastructure development and Leadership development and vision support.
The Fezile Dabi district obtained 90.3% in 2019 showing a decline from 92.3% in 2018 but still remained the leading district in the Free State Province and the fourth leading district nationally. The Motheo district attainted 87.9 % in 2019 showing an improvement from 85.1% in 2018. This bares testament that that KST’s DWSD programme is demonstrating sustainable result outcomes.
“Most schools’ academic performances are closely linked to the level of support and involvement of the Districts under which they fall. Thus, schools that produce better results are those served by well-functioning and better-run district offices. Similarly, poor academic outcomes are a reflection of inadequate support and service the schools receive from their Districts,” said Themba Mola, KST CEO.
As KST enters the last phase of the DWSD programme for the next three years, the programme will have a streamlined focus on the Sustainability Road Map and Instructional Leadership. The Sustainability Roadmap aims to drive on-going systemic change, so that System Leaders are equipped and empowered to internalise and take ownership of the skills and tools provided beyond the programme interventions.
The Sustainability Roadmap will cut across the system looking at capacity of District Directors, Circuit Managers, Subject Advisors and the extent to which they provide support to schools. Furthermore, it will ensure that this is not only confined to compliance but also addresses support and access to capacity, content knowledge and classroom practices.
Teaching and learning must occupy the top agenda of every educational institution and therefore, personal development is one of the strategic elements that assist Instructional Leaders with the proper selection of relevant materials and enable them to monitor the effective implementation of teaching and learning strategies. The aligning of curriculum, instruction and assessment standards is a fundamental practice to support instructional leadership, the effective use of resources and decentralised accountability mechanisms are important elements that are instrumental in improving learning.
“The core functionality of our education system is at the heart of district level therefore; support and resources must be focused at district level for systemic and sustainable school academic performance as well as functionality. Instructional Leadership is one of the tools that we are empowering all our education districts through our partnership with KST, said MEC Dr Tate Makgoe Free State Department of Education.”
KST has implemented Instructional Leadership in 323 schools to date, with targeted System Leaders, benefiting directly from the programme. Interactions came in the form of joint planning, co-creation and coordination workshops. Even though KST operates in two districts in the Free State province, the Instructional Leadership programme benefits schools that are outside its ambit. To this extent, some 500 more schools have benefited from the programme. This is done in the spirit of ensuring the enduring systematic improvement of learning outcomes across the province.