The education crisis in South Africa is a topic that cannot be avoided in this day and age. Whether it is a lack of qualified teachers or a lack of discipline in the classroom, the state that we find ourself in at the moment is anything but favourable.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that while an international study showed that the state of education in South Africa is not the greatest, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Motshekga launched the Teaching and Learning International Research Study (Talis) report, which investigated the conditions of teaching and learning in schools across the world. Out of 48 countries that took part in the study, South Africa was the country that reigned over all the others when it came to violence in schools. Not really something to celebrate, if you think about it…
Discipline problems are a real crisis in South African schools, and the situation is getting worse. Everyone (especially teachers) who cares about children should care about poor discipline. Teachers are supposed to ensure that they practice classroom management and keep learners in check. It is understandable that teachers struggle with learners, since things have changed a lot over the past few years and how children are being raised, but the following measures must be put in place:
- Better management of discipline as a whole school approach must be implemented. To improve discipline, all relevant parties need to pull together and be involved in drawing up a code of conduct for the school.
- Teachers must look for alternatives to corporal punishment.
- Schools must become safe havens where positive and effective education can take place – be the example you want to see in your learners.
- Effective practices for improving the behaviour of troubled learners must be investigated and documented and NOT swept under the rug.
The only way we can fix our education system, is to acknowledge very real problems and work as a unit to overcome them. Teachers have the most important job when it comes to our leaders of tomorrow and there is only ONE chance to get it right!