The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, in collaboration with the Council for Professional Relations in Education (ELRC), teachers’ unions and international and multilateral partners, last month organized the first ministerial virtual seminar on the welfare of teachers.
Educators often focus on supporting and educating others, without prioritizing their own well-being. The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified the challenges facing teachers and the aim of the seminar was to take collective action to improve the physical, emotional and mental well-being of educators in South Africa.
“This seminar provides an opportunity to examine how educators can respond in a more thoughtful and deliberate manner to the stressful outcomes posed by the Covid-19 pandemic which has negatively impacted their health by asking thought-provoking questions about the goal, the relevance and importance of their property. -being.
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“Thanks to the wide range of holistic activities, throughout the year to support teachers, teacher appreciation is no longer limited to a single day observed on October 5th.
“Therefore, we have come together to meet Goal 17 of the DBE Action Plan: strive for a healthy teaching workforce with a sense of job satisfaction,” said Motshekga.
Veronica Hofmeester, Director of Continuing Professional Teacher Education (CPTD) at DBE, said: “DBE is committed to improving the psychosocial well-being of our teachers by creating resilient teachers. The pandemic has intensified the situation and changed the role of teachers in society.
“The well-being of our teachers has been compromised. They are discouraged, anxious, exhausted and suffer from exhaustion and fatigue. Drug addiction, violence, bullying and gender-based violence prevent them from remaining resilient in the classroom, intensifying the “exhausted teacher crisis”.
“Teachers need to be trained in self-transformation strategies through counseling to heal themselves first, then to heal others.
“Schools can be places where collective strategies can be taught to eliminate organizational toxicity, interpersonal conflict, and to create and develop systems and processes that allow teachers to become bearers of peace instead of bearers of trauma.
“Buddy systems and professional learning communities should equip our teachers with the practical skills necessary to empower themselves to breathe properly, use the counseling opportunities available to them, and empower and empower others. .
“It is crucial for them to receive orientation and continue to receive feedback on their clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Plus, ongoing feedback will help everyone achieve holistic wellness, ”said Hofmeester.
The seminar, which was part of a series of planned activities, aimed to honor teachers and raise awareness of the value of teaching in our society and brought together international speakers from the Association for the Development of Education , Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, American Federation of Teachers and Education International (Africa region).
In addition, the seminar provided options to the uncertainties caused by the pandemic, as well as advocated and communicated the health policies of the DBE. Teachers and school governing bodies were also present.
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