The Investec SAMSTIP programme seeks to address the shortage of adequately qualified Mathematics and Science teachers in public schools. The programme is also aimed at channeling passionate and competent teachers into the teaching of Mathematics and Science.
1. Project Name:
SA Mathematics and Science Teacher Internship Programme (SAMSTIP)
2. When was the project initiated, and how did your organisation get involved?
The SAMSTIP, previously known as the ISASA Maths and English was initiated back in 2012. Investec CSI has been involved in the SAMSTIP programme since its inception.
3. How does this project fit within your company’s CSI strategy?
The Investec CSI strategy revolves around the improvement of high school Mathematics and Science and facilitating access to quality tertiary education thereafter – this programme seeks to improve the quality of Mathematics and Science education in the country.
4. What is the aim of the project?
The ISASA SA Mathematics and Science Teacher Internship Programme (SAMSTIP) is aimed at developing a new breed of Mathematics and Science teachers in South African public schools.
5. What needs/issues does the project address?
The SAMSTIP programme seeks to address the shortage of adequately qualified Mathematics and Science teachers in public schools. The programme is also aimed at channeling passionate and competent teachers into the teaching of Mathematics and Science.
6. What are the project activities? Where are they implemented?
The programme activities include among others, an internship opportunity for young aspirant teachers at some of ISASA’s affiliate schools across the country whilst they are registered for either a Bachelor of Education (BEd.) for four years or Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) for one year at UNISA. During their studies, participants are exposed to academic workshops facilitated by ISASA and Investec CSI as a form of support to all students in their studies. Upon graduating, participants are then placed by the Department of Basic Education at various public school across the country. The programme is open to all South African aspirant teachers under the age of 30 with either a relevant tertiary qualification or a grade 12 certificate with at least 60% for Mathematics and Physical or Life Sciences.
7. Who do you partner with on this project?
SAMSTIP is a partnership between Investec CSI, the Department of Basic Education and the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA).
1. What is your company’s approach to monitoring and evaluation of this project?
Through constant engagement with ISASA and the Department of basic education, Investec CSI is able to monitor and evaluate the progress of the programme. There are also workshops annually for all programme partners to interact with student teachers which serves as yet another opportunity to gauge the experiences of the student teachers and to understand the challenges and effectiveness of the programme. We are currently in the process of compiling statistics of all students who have come through programme to understand its contribution to the increment of adequately qualified Mathematics and Science teachers.
2. What are the key social outcomes of the project i.e. how have the lives of the beneficiaries changed and what evidence do you have of this? Can you include a case study of a beneficiary?
The key social outcomes of the SAMSTIP is to facilitate the successful training and placement of quality Mathematics and Science teachers and transition into South African public schools. One of the programme beneficiaries who have gone through SAMSTIP is Petronella Mohale – her journey with us began when she joined the Promaths programme in grade 10 in 2010. In 2012 she completed Grade 12 as the overall top performer from the Investec Dobsonville Promaths Centre (Soweto). In essence Petronella was spoilt for choice in terms of career options post matric beacsue of her academic results. However, she chose to pursue a career in teaching. She joined SAMSTIP in 2013 and was placed at Roedean School for girls in Parktown for the duration of her internship programme. Petronella graduated from the programme as the overall top performer in 2017. She is now a fully qualified teacher and she has also been recruited as one of the Promaths tutors.
3. What are the key business outcomes of the project i.e. how has the business benefited from the project?
- Successful training and placement of quality Mathematics and Science teachers
- Quality training of Mathematics and Science teachers in SA
- Job creation for all programme participants
- Improvement of the quality of Mathematics and Sciences in public schools
Evolution and lessons learnt
1. How has this project evolved over time?
The programme started as a Mathematics and English focused but evolved over time to focus purely on Mathematics and Physical and Life Sciences. Previously, programme participants were only placed in public schools upon graduating but this has since changed to ensure that student teachers get placed in public schools in their final year of studies so that they make a seamless transition from private school to public schools. In other words, student teachers who are registered for a four-year BEd. degree get placed an ISASA affiliate school for three years and in the fourth year they get placed at a public school to complete their internship.
2. What have the challenges and success factors of this project been?
The number of applications we receive from aspirant teachers who meet our criteria has been a challenge. The commitment of ISASA affiliated teachers who are always keen to mentor student teachers on the programme has contributed to the success of the programme over the years.
3. What are some of the lessons learned from the project and how could these be broadly applicable to the sector in terms of scaling up and replication?
We’ve learned over the years that the careful recruitment of participants gives the programme better chances of success because the caliber aligns with the objectives of the programme.
4. What are your plans for the sustainability of this project?
Whilst SAMSTIP is a long-term programme and the main objective remains to contribute towards the increment of suitably qualified Mathematics and Science teachers in South African public schools, we’re constantly looking for innovative ways to enrich the programme offering for the broader benefit of SA.