Keetmanshoop-Learners’ failure to be behave and work in a controlled way by obeying school rules remains a major concern for many schools in the //Kharas Region.
These were the views of some teachers and parents at a recent meeting held at Keetmanshoop with Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.
The participants singled out the lack of discipline among learners as a huge contributing factor to the dismal performance of many schools in the region, as portrayed by the region’s low rank in the national school rankings.
Concerned residents said teachers, instead of focusing on teaching, spend most of their time dealing with disciplinary issues, as learners deliberately disrupt classes, often making the class environment less conducive for learning and teaching to take place.
Principal of PK De Villiers Secondary School Pieter Skeyer was one of those who expressed concern the ill-discipline of learners, saying if the issue is not addressed, education in the region will not move forward. “The biggest problem we have is lack of discipline and as long as we do not tackle this we will not move forward,” Skeyer remarked.
He explained that teachers find it hard to teach for the whole 40-minute period, without any disruptions from naughty learners, whose core interest seems to be to cause trouble.
Skeyer said it is sad that teachers who are paid to impart knowledge to the learners have to spend almost half of their time on dealing with learners who are misbehaving in classrooms, instead of giving quality education to those who are serious and willing to learn.
“Teachers spend more time disciplining learners than teaching. One of my teachers came to me and sadly told me that she was failing me, because she was spending about 20 minutes of her teaching time on disciplining the learners,” he stated.
Some of the concerned residents cited lack of parental involvement, especially from fathers, who are traditionally seen as the disciplinarians, as the main cause of ill-discipline among learners at school.
One resident noted that men are often not involved in their children’s lives in general and in their education in particular, and this becomes a problem, saying learners from single parent-headed homes are more likely to be ill-disciplined.
“Where are the fathers? All these women sitting here are mostly single mothers, so where are the fathers of these children? We are just making children, but do not take responsibility,” he said.
Hanse-Himarwa noted the issue with concern, saying no school will be able to produce good results if the learners are not disciplined, adding that those learners that disturb the teaching and learning process do not belong in the classroom.
She, however, called on parents to do their part in disciplining their children at home, stating that most parents are unable to discipline their own children but expect other people to do it for them, which should not be the case.
“We are not able to discipline our own children, but we expect other people to discipline our children. The schools are not there to raise and discipline your children for you,” she stated.