Why school culture matters

Why school culture matters

Aidan*, Bonteheuwel, Cape Town, dropped out of school in Grade 11 “Today’s educational systems are just focused on pumping the children full of knowledge instead of drawing out their uniqueness. If they could implement into the school system teaching children how to be happy; how to handle relationships; how to treat their body; and teach them about their actions... I think that would dramatically change the education system.”School culture in which there is bullying or physical punishment, or teachers are absent from class, can push learners away from school. To add to this, many South African school buildings are poorly maintained, under-resourced, and inadequately serviced. Vandalism, litter, overcrowded classrooms, or classrooms with missing doors and windows, can make school an unpleasant, even dangerous space to be in. On the other hand, well-run and maintained schools can greatly improve children’s chances of success, even if they are disadvantaged by their home environments. Ideal schools should be sanctuaries of learning, curiosity, stimulation and safety; in which teachers are skilled, motivated and supported. Just like in the home, having caring, attentive adults at school can help struggling or vulnerable learners push on with their schooling.

Resources

Spotlight on our Zero Dropout Champions: The committed teacher

The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us that a teacher plays a multi-layered role in a child’s life, beyond completing the curriculum. Teachers are key role-players in a child’s learning journey, which is why their full buy-in and cooperation are essential in the campaign against dropout. Although many teachers are overwhelmed with work, they are the […]

Posted on 23 Sep 2020

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Five things we can learn from youth-led strategies in education

What comes to mind when you think about youth activism? Perhaps it conjures iconic images of the 1976 Soweto Uprising or the removal of a statue of Cecil John Rhodes that stood undisturbed on the grounds of the University of Cape Town (UCT) until protests erupted in 2015. How can the energy and vibrancy of our youth be effectively channelled to decrease the rate of school dropout? We take a look at five lessons from youth led-strategies past and present.

Posted on 14 Jun 2020

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