The Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme (TASP) was launched on 31st August 2015 at the Department of Basic Education. This is a joint stakeholder programme consisting of the Department of Basic Education, Provincial Education Departments; the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC); the South African Council for Teachers (SACE); the Combined Teacher Unions in the ELRC (CTU-ATU and Sadtu); the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT); School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and other education partners such as the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP-SETA) and Higher Education of South Africa (HESA).

The TASP forms part of the overarching initiatives that serves as a stimulus for World Teachers’ Day on 5th October 2015. The programme proposes year-long activities that are aimed at lifting the morale of teachers. This extends beyond the existing departmental activities, such as the National Teaching Awards (NTAs) and the CPTD management system. It seeks to encourage involvement at all levels, including that of social partners, districts and schools.

The Council pledged its support at the launch and welcomes the programme, as it embraces the holistic needs of the teacher, from cultivating appreciation for the work that they do to addressing issues that they deal with beyond the classroom, such as stress and financial difficulties.

The work of the Council seeks to ensure the wellbeing of teachers which will in turn improve the quality of education in public schools. We are pleased that the core objective of the Programme is to lift the morale of teachers and afford them the recognition that they rightfully deserve.

The crowning glory of the teaching profession is the teacher, and the theme of the programme, “Teachers: the heartbeat of the nation”, encapsulates this notion.

We dare not dream without acknowledging that the bedrock of our aspirations rests firmly in the hands of our teachers. With every concept defined, every perceived mystery clarified and every mark awarded, we take a step closer to realising the dream of an educated nation. Not only education for the sake of recording high passes, but education of the highest calibre.
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