10 ‘What if’ questions about our public schools

2017-07-20 14:44

I have been a township school teacher for one and half years and in this time I can conclude that our public schooling is in crises. If we don’t act on time, the ascendancy of crime, despondency among black youths, unemployment and many other social ills will reach unprecedented levels—the signs of which are already evident. I still have hope nonetheless.

To turn the tide, what if…

  1. Learners marched to Union Buildings demanding high-quality educational infrastructure like their middle to upper class counterparts?

  1. There was strong collaboration between economically privileged schools with those facing multiple deprivations?

  1. Every teacher in our schools honoured their instructional time?

  1. Every learner took their studies seriously and asked questions when faced with challenges?

  1. Every teacher was hungry to learn more about the best available ways of content delivery?

  1. There was a structured induction and mentorship programme for new teachers in every school?

  1. Every teacher encouraged critical thinking among their learners?

  1. Teachers were not bombarded with endless and often meaningless administration?
  2. Teachers were paid a bit more like engineers etc.?

  1. Parents were more involved in their children’s education?

Let me wrap up our conversation with the following words by a fellow educationist, Fezile Sonkwala, who, in his book, ‘Native Footprints’, remarks: “There exists a myth out there that all township schools produce poorer quality learners compared to their urban counterparts. Clearly such cynics know little about township schools akin to Tsoseletso High.” Working together all our township schools can be world-class.

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