The Contributing Factor of Distance Education in the Upgrading of Qualifications for In-Service Teachers

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF2 // Even where an efficient system of initial training and support services exist, experience suggests there will be a need for highly developed in-service (INSET) teacher education programs to enable serving teachers to adapt to changing ircumstances. Distance education is a set of teaching and learning strategies that can be used to overcome spatial and temporal separation between educators and learners. These strategies or methods can be integrated into any educational program and used in combination with any teaching and learning strategies in the provision of education (SAIDE, 2000:52). // This paper will deal mainly with the up grading of the qualifications of INSET teacher education and in particular by means of distance education. Although there are a number of institutions who offer INSET programs for the upgrading of teacher education qualifications only a few of these programs will be highlighted. The technology involved in these programs which helps to support the students in their studies will be indicated. Developments in technology in particularly distance education improves the accessibility (Melck, 1999:6). There will be an evaluation of these programs to illustrate their success rate. // Sustainable INSET teacher education programs are vital for the effective functioning of any education system. These programs should be able to support the teachers in their daily instruction in the classroom and they should be of a continuous nature. Lifelong learning enhances professional practice and the personal development of teachers. Ongoing teacher education develops healthy schools and a culture of effective teaching and learning. It is widely accepted that distance education has an important social and political role to play in terms of redress and equity and in providing education to groups that would not otherwise have access to education. //

South Africa