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Newsletters


2017-08-23
Newsletter 117 Poverty on the rise in South - Stats SA


Poverty on the rise in South Africa – Stats South Africa

Did you hear about the new mantra of the Western Cape Education Department?

ENTER TO LEARN - EXIT TO SERVE

Simply Fantastic!

Since 1994 we have been able to reduce poverty in South Africa but…According to new data released by Stats SA, poverty is on the rise in South Africa. The latest “Poverty Trends in South Africa” report shows that, despite the general decline in poverty between 2006 and 2011, poverty levels in South Africa rose in 2015. More than half of South Africans were poor in 2015, with the poverty headcount increasing to 55,5% from a series low of 53,2% in 2011. The figures are calculated using the upper-bound poverty line (UBPL – people on this level of poverty can purchase adequate food and non-food items)) of R992 per person per month (pppm) in 2015 prices. This translates into over 30,4 million South Africans living in poverty in 2015.

As teachers we need to ask the fundamental questions;

  • What does this statistic mean for learning & teaching?
  • Who does it impact on social cohesion?
  • What does it mean for learner achievement, attainment and success?
  • How do I mitigate this statistic as a teacher of children of the poor?
  • What is it that I need to do?

The key features of our poverty are;

  • African Black, Coloured, Indian & White
  • Rural
  • Women
  • Children.

The ranking of poverty across our 9 Provinces are;

  1. Gauteng
  2. Western Cape
  3. Free State
  4. Northern Cape
  5. KZN
  6. Mpumalanga
  7. North West
  8. Limpopo
  9. Eastern Cape

 

 

Household FOOD Expenditure (This does not speak to quality of the items consumed)

 

POOR

NON-POOR

Income spent on food

R9 487

R15 831

Portion of budget

30%

10.5%

 

 

 

Non-alcohol

5.7

8.0

Other foods

5.9

7.9

Sugars & Jams

5.6

4.6

Fruit & Veg

11.8

12.4

Oils & Fats

4.6

3.9

Milk Cheese & Eggs

8.1

11.0

Meat & Fish

24.5

32.1

Bread & Cereals

33.9

20.3

 

One of my stories -The Social Contract

When I started teaching in the early 80’s the school did not have a classroom policy. Basic sensibilities applied and teachers would make up the rules as we go along. After serious contemplation I decided to negotiate a Social Policy with the classes I taught, Biology, Science and Mathematics. Maybe I should provide more contexts.

  1. Homework was a serious source of our disciplinary problems then. Took up a lot of teaching time.
  2. Monday was simply a nightmare to get learners back to focus on academic studies.
  3. Learners did not respond well or actively participate in lessons due to the nature of academic knowledge.

Discussing the Social Contract with learners we arrived at the following consensus;

  1. No homework on a Friday
  2. No tests on a Monday
  3. Weekends meant – “to smell the roses”
  4. Try to complete homework in class as far as possible – opportunities were provided
  5. One period used for social biology – teacher to introduce topic – the nature of social knowledge allowed for rigorous participation by learners – build learner confidence
  6. Social biology content was examined during assessments
  7. Remainder of the periods used optimally for learning and teaching.