Lecturer Training for Renewable Technologies

Nov 25th, 2016
RET lecturers showcase their finished products

TANJA MERENSKY-HARTINGER, Skills for Green Jobs Programme - GIZ

Selected TVET Colleges introduced the new subject, Renewable Energy Technologies (RET), in the NC(V) Electrical Infrastructure and Construction Programme in 2015.

The GIZ, together with the Skills for Green Jobs (S4GJ) Programme, now supports the Department of Higher Education and Training in the implementation of the subject with didactic training materials and student textbooks. It soon became apparent however, that one of the most important aspects for subject implementation is the training of TVET College lecturers. This prompted the S4GJ Programme to offer three RET subject lecturer training workshops per year, namely one workshop for each NC(V) level. In 2016, the three lecturer training events took place at Boland TVET College, Central Johannesburg TVET College and Port Elizabeth TVET College.

The aim of these workshops is to support and up-skill TVET lecturers on subject content and praxis-centred methodologies. Special attention is given to jointly-developed practical assignment and learning aids. This approach aims to empower lecturers so that they feel more confident in teaching the subject. They will be enabled to assist their students to grasp theoretical concepts and applications of renewable technologies in a fun and interactive way. “This training shows you step-by-step how to tackle the huge syllabus. It gives you a structure to follow. I feel I now have all the knowledge I need to teach this subject effectively and confidently“, says Fezeka Mkhetshana from Motheo TVET College, a first-timer participant of the training held at Central Johannesburg TVET College in June. The training provides lecturers with concrete advice and tools on how to create an environment conducive to interactive learning. Thabo Madlala from Ingwe TVET College says that the training has changed his teaching style and approach. “I realised that for teaching to be truly effective, I needed to be more learner-centred. Focusing on the students and facilitating interactive classes, with 60% practical and 40% theory, forms the content of my lessons.”

The training is also an opportunity for lecturers from different colleges to exchange ideas and experience on best practices and teaching methods. It gives lecturers valuable insight into what they need to focus on when preparing for the ISAT. Andrew Josephs, one of the workshop’s co-facilitators from Boland TVET College, has high praise for the training. “The GIZ training sessions are well structured and organised. The facilitators always incorporate new approaches to training. What sets these training sessions apart, are the discussions with fellow practitioners about the theory we teach and how to supplement this with practical assignments. This emphasis enables you to learn much more from „learning-by-doing“. I would definitely recommend other programmes and subjects to use the same structure and approach!” Andrew adds.

What started with six colleges offering the RET subject in 2015, soon increased to nine colleges in 2016. It is envisaged that 15 colleges will offer RET in 2017. Based on the increased interest, the S4GJ Programme will once again offer lecturer training during the NC(V) recess periods in 2017. This will be offered to the lecturers teaching RET level 2, 3 and 4. We look forward to more interactive sessions next year!

TVET COLLEGE TIMES, December 2016

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