The RNCS (Revised National Curriculum Statement) has been revised again, in my opinion, did more harm to holistic education than was intended. Re-re-revised editions of specific learning areas generated more money for the text book market (writers and retailers) than it helped learners understand their tasks and/or alleviate the burden on educators as far as planning and administration is concerned. Content selected reflected personal interest rather than catering for the employment market.
Advice to educators in the Foundation Phase, from Gr 0 onward: Use the methods of teaching of the years of old. There is nothing as debilitating as functional illiteracy. The content and methods focused on in the Education Department's version of what a learner should know and the skills they should develop is largely responsible for learners entering high schools ill prepared to deal with the challenges they are phased with in this changed setting, work pressures and content.
The 3R's can never be disregarded in the learner's cognitive development. It forms the basis of all other learning. So... let the L.O. and other fancy distractions lay by the wayside until the learner has mastered the 3R's as in 'the olden days'. The methods applied to achieve this may differ from educator to educator, catering for the differing needs of the learners, but the outcomes should primarily remain the functional literacy of learners in the areas of Reading, wRiting and Reckoning (Arithmetic or Numeracy). The lack of these skills is largely to blame for poor performance in Mathematics later in the learners' academic lives.
My hats off to those educators still sweating it out and giving their ALL to their charges. If the Foundation is not strong, learners do not perform that well. The role these educators play in shaping the academic lives of learners should never be underestimated and undervalued. They have the ability to make or break the learners' will to achieve.
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