Quality education under threat as schools become battlefields

2014-03-07 16:22

Ill-discipline at schools constitutes the biggest threat to quality education in South Africa, says the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools.

Speaking at the school discipline summit at Boksburg today, Fedsas chief executive Paul Colditz said: “Ill-discipline is not applicable to our kids only [but also to] teachers, principals and school governing body members.”

Colditz said ill-discipline should be addressed as quickly as possible. “The opportunity to discuss this topic is a dream come true for us. It’s a unique opportunity that we should not waste as learners are being stabbed to death and teachers are being assaulted with hammers.”

He said it would be futile to expect pupils to be disciplined when teachers, who are supposed to be role models, are not leading disciplined and exemplary lives.

Basil Manuel, president of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), said ill-discipline at schools is putting teachers under strain and they want to spend as little time as possible at school. “Teachers feel pretty helpless. We can’t ignore these problems as communities. It can’t wait for tomorrow. But there is no one size fits all.”

The South African Principals’ Association also condemned the lack of discipline in schools: “We have a crisis and we have lost control of our learners. Some classrooms resemble a battlefield.”

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