OPINION: Its dangerous to let the constitution dictate

2017-03-30 06:02
OPINIONThembile Ndabeni

OPINIONThembile Ndabeni

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The Apartheid dispensation did not have it all wrong regarding education.

The rule of law existed.

With the emergence of the new dispensation, the Black run government should have brought added value to the proceedings, or to whatever was left of the good from the previous government. However, Black parents have failed their children by not taking the responsibility to make sure that they are part of the education system.

They don’t have the time to attend to their problems and school meetings. I shudder to think if they have the time to help with their children’s homework.

The worst part is lack of moral values from parents. The onus to impart moral values to children rests with their parents.

If none of these exist, woe to the children. Parenthood is more than just giving birth, but the accompanying responsibility.

Morally speaking, the present generation of parents is beaten hands down by the their predecessors.

Even educators lack the moral compass to be in front of our children.

But the problem lies in the set up of our democracy.

First, the constitution took the responsibility to instil values to children away from their parents.

Corporal punishment was abolished with no relevant replacement.

I remember as an educator, a consultant was hired to workshop us about how to deal with learners when they misbehaved.

This gentleman said: “you must look at him in the eye,”. How can one look at a potential killer armed with a knife or gun in the eye.

Disorder, especially in townships schools started with the abolition of corporal punishment.

So, what is to be done.

Parents need to regain full control of the system and not be dictated to by the government.

Educators need to engage with parents and give them full information of what’s happening.

Learners must play their part, especially as there are responsible leaders among them.

Teachers, parents and learners constitute the School Governing Bodies and must therefore work in tandem with each other.

The state must come up with mechanisms to bring order in schools, since the constitution bars corporal punishment.

There are some challenges even in Model C Schools, but at least these schools are able to manage their own challenges.

The Model C and township schools operate in different environments with different value systems.

The burden lies with the parents, since it is their children who are being attended to in schools.

At a more inclusive and broader level the SGBs must play a central role, as their name suggests; governing.

As a nation, we should stand up for the future of our children.

If SGBs are not yes men and women of the principals, tokens of the department of education and lackeys of the government, what is happening at our schools?

The SGBs in consultation with affected parents and communities must be the ones who take firm decisions regarding the future of our children.

If push comes to shove, they have the right to challenge the Constitution, which, as a man-made mechanism, is not without challenges.

Although the solution to any problem is its identification, we need to debate and talk about the challenges inherent in out constitution.

The Nguni phrase: “Uthuleleni kusonakala nje”, is apt in the present circumstances. We should strive for African solutions to African problems.


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