Initial Teacher Education: Overview

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) is one of the programmes offered by Khanyisa Inanda Seminary Community Projects. KICP Initial Teacher Education is a model of preservice teacher training and development, formally launched in 2007. The programme relies on student teachers engaging in ITE qualifications through Open Distance Learning (ODL) while being placed as full-time teacher interns in schools. The aim of the programme is to produce skilled, well-developed educators able to provide a solution to challenges facing the teacher education sector in South Africa.


A critical factor in the ITE programme is that these teacher interns are closely mentored by experienced education practitioners. Further mentoring is provided by ITE project manager mentors including crucial holistic support and at least one school visit a fortnight. ITE academic mentors meet with teacher interns once a week for professional development, blended learning opportunities, subject-based tutorials and assignment support.


The teacher interns are assigned to a teacher mentor in their school and have the opportunity to observe and experience good quality teaching, planning, co-teaching, leading as well as supporting different learner interventions.

The ITE programme seeks to create sites of excellence by providing teacher interns with opportunities to teach in varied classroom settings and to refine their knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to write a new education narrative in South Africa The ITE teacher internship programme works toward the recruitment, selection, development and retention of a new pool of high-quality teachers able to teach in blended teaching environments to grow the profession in South African schools.


Short-Term Goals

The short-term goals of the Initial Teacher Education Programme are to provide an opportunity for disadvantaged students studying through distance
education to become reflective, committed teachers, equipped to excel in a blended learning environment:

  • through the provision of academic, professional and personal development opportunities
  • by empowering school mentors at internship partner schools
  • and by targeted professional development of school leaders and teachers at internship partner schools

Long-Term Goals

The long-term goals of the Initial Teacher Education Programme are to:

  • establish a recognised alternative pathway for teacher education and 
  • establish a community of emotionally intelligent, digitally fluent, collaborative and innovative classroom practitioners to make possible the realisation of each child's potential by addressing the inequities in the South African education system.


  • To coach, attract, develop and retain competent teachers who can work in blended teaching environments.
  • To increase the supply and quality of teachers to the South African education system.
  • To provide high-quality mentoring that is based on a relationship of trust and shared responsibility.
  • To support the distance studies of teacher interns to ensure good academic results and valuable in-class experience.
  • To create and deliver replicable programmes with the potential to bring about systemic change.
  • To improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools where teacher interns will ultimately teach.
  • To shift public perception and influence more people to enter the teaching profession.
  • To demonstrate the benefits of the teacher internship route into teaching.
  • To contribute to teacher development networks and communities of practice.
  • To support the government’s targets to improve the quality of education in South Africa’s disadvantaged communities.

The Future Of ITE

With the support of our existing and new funding partners, KICP hopes to take the programme forward, scaling up to include more teacher interns, more school sites and a significantly broader impact on the education landscape of South Africa.


"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. 
Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family."

Kofi Anan