School issues need attention

2017-10-12 06:01

VIOLENCE against children, specifically corporal punishment in schools, needs several critical conversations to take place.

The Department of Education has correctly banned corporal punishment in schools through the enactment of legislation, such as the SA Schools Act of 1996. Although there is considerable progress made in stopping the practice of using the stick to discipline pupils, unfortunately, corporal punishment is still widely used in schools.

However, it is vital to point out that while all the policies and procedures to support educational transformation are commendable, legislators must take into consideration today’s behavioural problems, social ills and non-compliance to school rules. For effective learning and teaching to take place in schools, rules are needed, along with punishment for those who break the rules and disrupt school activities. Agreed, the type of sanction the school may impose must be regulated by law.

However, I believe legislation is also needed for absent parent syndrome and unruly conduct. According to research, some teachers say that discipline at schools and constantly having to deal with pupils engaging in disruptive behaviour have taken away their passion for teaching, resulting in low morale and a high drop-out rate among teachers.

Together with corporal punishment, there are deep issues affecting SA schools that need attention.

MOHAMED SAEED

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