Newsletter 131 - South African School Research
STATE OF SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOLS – AN INTRODUCTION TO A PLETHORA OF RESEARCH
Researchers have a lot to say about the state of our schooling system – here is a brief summary – 2015-2017. The next series of newsletters will focus on each of these seven pieces of research…
Given this context I simply cannot ignore the need to THINK OUT LOUD!
Are our schools really as bad as “everyone” wants us to believe? Are our teachers really as bad as “they” say? Is our government really doing a bad job as “some” wants us to believe? Are all the systemic “shortcomings” really that bad?
Let’s allow ourselves the space to reflect and think out loud! We have heard the mainstream; let us now pay attention to the crowded out voices of the alternative…I can only wish “they” will rise to this challenge....find a way to speak up!
I do not want to be misunderstood! I am not suggesting that we cannot do better – sure we can?
We should challenge some of the conventions which entered our discourse and has assumed the status of universal truths given the context of the South African schooling pre- and post 1994. A wise individual once said that “in a world of change, the only constant is change itself”.
So, on a large scale we have made lots of policy with lots of perpetual changes in areas of;
I think we should challenge these assumption, norms and conventions, revisit in whose interest it is the maintain them and recommit ourselves to radical educational transformation.
IT IS ALL ABOUT ACCESS & QUALITY!
The tension between these two contenders is considerable. A developmental state simply cannot afford the resources to address both (not even twenty years down the line)…a choice has to made! It is my view that South Africa needs another ten years (or more) to focus on access, arrive at a South African standard and then arrive at a benchmark of good practices.
Arriving at a South African Standard with a South African benchmark of best practices serving the South African majority with pride and dignity!
Stop the ever changing playing field of policy practices – stay the course and ignore the pressure of distraction due to continual change. Bring about stability in our schooling system so that teachers can teach and learners can learn.
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