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 ones with knowledge of individual children and are best placed to make recommendations for their support.
As schooling resumes with new protocols and procedures, it’s more important than ever that teachers feel valued, appreciated and supported while navigating the “new normal”.
Since schools reopened, educators in different provinces have resorted to phone calls, text messages, and even home visits to convince learners to return to class.
“To stop children from dropping out of school, we need the support of their parents. If the parent really tried to get the child to come to school, it would be better.”- Tamsanqa Ngesi, teacher in Mdantsane.
“I love to teach here. There’s so much drama here. I come from an area similar to Mannenberg and from a school similar to this one. I feel like even though teachers have the option of going to better schools, and I have the option to apply to go anywhere I want to, I’m still here. I feel this is where I need to be. I’ve been here…” – Sadeqah Fagen, teacher in Mannenberg.
“I want to tell learners to be strong. Don’t think life will always be like this. Tomorrow life will change if you are also keen to change yourself. Just stick to it. Tell yourself, one day I want to be a teacher — one day I want to be something. You must always have a dream to be someone in life.” – Zeu Ludidi, teacher in Gonubie.
“When a child drops out of school, I am traumatised. I wish I could take that child and help them to see the importance of being educated. You must know that there is a long way to go in life.” – Xoliswa Adonis, teacher in Duncan Village.
“Maybe they do not get full support [at their homes]. Some of them dropped out because they can’t manage…can’t pass this grade.” – Leonard Dlamini, teacher in Impendle.