The South African education system has just had some changes made to it and while I may support one or two of these laws, I am still very shocked that they are not seeing the big picture. I still am obviously shocked that SACE is still active.
One of the many new changes to the system is that teachers will now have to deal with at least 60 students in a class. How does a teacher who is newly qualified, untrained, and with no experience deal with such numbers in a class? Has the minister lost it completely? She apparently holds a master’s degree in education, however, looking at the current system and its rankings globally I must question the legitimacy of her qualifications.
Are they not seeing that the global trend of education is that classes are getting smaller, classes are now comprised of two teachers rather than one, technology plays an important role and of course there is no homework?
The idea to nationalize education and get rid of governing bodies is utterly ridiculous! Every school needs a governing body, it needs active role players and one of the key role players are the parents.
To be a successful educational system both parents and students need to play an active role in education. Unfortunately, parents do not understand education because when authorities speak about education they speak in a language that sounds completely foreign to parents. It is vital that parents understand completely what is going on in education, it is important for parents to understand that while a school using technology is the way to go, they also need to understand how this technology is being used, because till today many schools still do not use technology in the correct way.
Parents need to understand why homework is a thing of the past and does not work anymore. Homework, as mentioned, is a thing of the past; it does not work because it takes away the social development aspect of the child. Today’s generation of kids is far different than the generations before. Kids today need social interaction in order to develop. Students are in school all day, from as early as 7 am and end school at latest 4pm.They need time to relax, to bond with their families and not still come home to do more school work. They are already going to school to do this work, why do they need to still come home and d more?
One of many changes to the new amendments is that of homeschooling, It is still a very unclear topic among everybody and while there are some respected organizations doing their best to assist those who want to get involved in homeschooling, the government itself is still unclear about it.According to the constitution, every child has the right to an education and how they receive this education be it at a school or at home is entirely up to the parent and should remain as such. There should be no intervention. Parents can choose to go the IEB route or perhaps an international route such as Cambridge. It has to be left up to the parent!
The biggest issue for me with these new changes is that the biggest picture is being ignored! Relevancy to in-class teaching! While policies are important and there for a specific reason. We must also understand that what happens in class is equally important. Teachers need to be trained according to international standards. We cannot and should not be happy with being ranked as 91/95 globally for general education.SACE has done absolutely nothing in developing teachers. The process to obtain a SACE license is a joke. There is no method to assess a teacher’s level of competency. The SACE teacher development workshops need to focus more on topics of relevance and what is assumed.
Classrooms need to be built to accommodate students and not stuff them all into one class, we are not dealing with sardines, we are dealing with our children, our future!
No school has the right to turn away any student, if a parent is criminalized for denying their child a right to an education, then a school turning away a student should also be criminalized.
We need people of competence to make the decision and unfortunately right now partitions will not work, what needs to happen is that parents need to be educated thoroughly on what’s going on and parents need to take the stand. Educators will not succeed because the system pins them down. It is parents through proper training and education about the system, its changes and what it should be, who can actually make the difference right now.