PGCE: Become A LO Teacher Or School Counsellor - SACAP
Applied Psychology

How to become a Life Orientation Teacher and School Counsellor with a PGCE

Nov 08, 2022 | By Saranne Durham
How to become a Life Orientation Teacher and School Counsellor with a PGCE - SACAP

You’ve got an Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree and are now exploring career options. Understanding how someone’s mind works could prove very beneficial in a classroom setting. Here are the ins and outs of what it takes to become a Life Orientation teacher and School Counsellor. And how you can niche yourself in the teaching world through life orientation classes, psycho-social support and transformative counselling skills.

What is a PGCE?

SACAP’s Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a one-year qualification. It enables graduates with degrees that aren’t Bachelor of Education (Bed) to become school teachers. You need a PGCE to register with the South African Council for Educators (SACE). This is a requirement for anyone wishing to teach at a school which falls under the South African Department of Education.

Why is a PGCE Important?

A PGCE covers academic as well as practical teacher training. It essentially teaches you how to be a teacher. Therefore, it’s the foundation upon which one can build a successful teaching career. Without a PGCE you are able to teach and tutor outside of the South African formal education system. However, you will not be allowed to teach at a South African Department of Education school. Therefore, not having one will limit your teaching career options in South Africa.

Education in South Africa

Formal education in South Africa is divided into three bands. The first two encompass grades 0 through to grade 12. And the third focuses on further education options. Within these bands, there are additional divisions. As well as variations in ways to complete a band and, accordingly, when a learner is eligible to complete their schooling.

Three Bands of Education in South Africa:

  1. General Education Training (GET): Grade 0 plus grades 1-9
    • Foundation Phase (grade 0 plus grades 1-3).
    • Intermediate Phase (grade 4-6).
    • Senior Phase (grade 7-9).
  2. Further Education and Training (FET): Grades 10 -12
    • High Schools.
    • Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) focused on career-oriented, technical education and training.
  3. Higher Education and Training (HET) also known as tertiary education. Focused on undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Who can Study a PGCE?

To be accepted into a PGCE programme, you would need to have a bachelor’s degree. Specifically, one that has at least two school subjects. Additionally, applicants must have a minimum average of 65% for their relevant second-year subject.

This means that you will need two teaching subjects which have at least 60 credits each (ie: up to second-year level).  Alternatively, you can be considered for admittance if you have one teaching subject with 120 credits. However, preference will be given to those who apply with two teaching subjects.

It is still possible to do a PGCE if you do not have the necessary teaching subject requirements. What you will need to do is register at a South African University as an occasional student. Then select the relevant courses and complete them. After which you can register to do a PGCE.

Getting into a PGCE with a Psychology Degree

It is ideal to have a background in Psychology when choosing to work at a school as a school counsellor. Admittance to a PGCE qualification makes allowances for this. As such, if one has studied three years of psychology as well as a 2nd subject or maths 1, one qualifies for admittance into a PGCE certification course. This means that you need a minimum of 120 psychology credits and at least 60 credits for a teaching subject.

Requirements to be a Life Orientation Teacher and School Counsellor

Being a great Life Orientation teacher requires you to draw upon an integrated knowledge and skill set. Therefore, admittance to a Life Orientation and School Counselling PGCE allows for a wider range of eligible undergraduate courses. Such as SACAP’s Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Senior and Further Education and Training Teaching. Consequently, applicants who have a combination of disciplines are particularly well suited for this PGCE. For example, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Philosophy, Human Movement Sciences, Labour Studies and Industrial Studies.

PGCE in Senior and Further Education and Training Teaching

SACAP offers a comprehensive Postgraduate Certificate in Education enhanced with specialised vocational skills. This PGCE has a comprehensive school-based Work Integrated Learning component of the programme. Through this learners’ teaching skills are enhanced. Thus, SACAP’s PGCE programme equips graduates with the skills necessary to provide guidance, counselling and specialised learner support. As well as the skills needed to be a highly competent life orientation teacher. Click HERE to apply online today.

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