Extra murals were included in the timetable, with set periods devoted to ridiculous things like "skateboarding club" and "cake decorating/wedding planning" (cunningly described as "Empowered Women's Education"). And yet I never felt that my day was too long.
South Africa's learners are waaay behind their global counterparts in literacy and mathematics, according to various tests that have been carried out by Big Important Organisations.
Would it then be worth borrowing some strategies from more successful countries, like Korea and Japan, who have a greater emphasis on education?
After reading my friend and former tutor's article, "South Korea's National Obsession with Education", I'm not so sure any more. Deva talks about how Korea's school system is working these kids to the bone, but she questions whether any learning is actually given a chance to happen.
|Local students protesting over the Education Department's failure to allocate teachers to permanent posts, and their failure to pay temporary teachers, which resulted in a prolonged strike and go-slow by two major Teachers' unions.|
As long as there is school, with teachers and proper lessons being taught properly, then we need not devote every waking minute to learning the three R's. Maybe finishing the school day early, and giving kids a chance to be kids, is of value after all. The fourth R is way more fun anyway - Recess!