New survey sheds light on South Africa’s collapsing education system

New survey sheds light on South Africa’s collapsing education system
New survey sheds light on South Africa’s collapsing education system

81% of South African Educators say they run into challenges that need learner support skills beyond their training.

A recent survey conducted on over 1200 teachers from all levels concludes with shocking factors that underlie South Africa’s slowly failing education system. The independent survey on educators in South Africa showed that more than 81% of them feel overwhelmed in the classroom and feel hopeless when they are faced with children who have learning difficulties.

In reviewing the state of education in South Africa, one can see immediately that it has reached an alarming rate with the current pass rate. The 2022/23 education budget has increased by 8.1 %, or R3. 1 billion, from the previous year. Despite more money being invested in the sector, the results do not follow.

The survey carried out over a span of several months was concluded this week on over a thousand educators from all levels and college professors, simply asked educators what sort of problems they run into in the classroom.

The simple question: What difficulties do you encounter in teaching and supporting learners? Saw a devastating pattern reflected by the educators when they all uniformly expressed that they face serious challenges when it comes to learner support. Here the teachers were most concerned because this is where the holes in our education system are most prevalent.

Learner support is a broad subject that focuses on what the teacher or instructor can or should do to help learners beyond the formal delivery of content, or skills development. Learner support covers a wide range of functions. – Anthony William (Tony) Bates, Teaching in a Digital Age.

Sandile Hlayisi, who was one of the surveyors says “Despite local propaganda, education quality is a crisis not just in South Africa but across the entire globe. Many countries in the world report on the same problems. Our Educators have the passion for teaching and shaping young minds. We need to assist them when it comes to assisting them to solve social issues and illiteracy problems. “

Unfortunately, Learner Support is not a subject taught in school which is ironic considering the fact that this is what most educators say they are having trouble with. “Added Hlayisi.

Educators surveyed in South Africa stated uniformly that they have no problem with content delivery which to them is the easy part. They say the problem starts when they have to support the learner in addressing or going through social problems such as bullying, substance abuse, crime, unruly behavior, peer pressure and study difficulties and disabilities which according to the survey seems to be the biggest learning barrier.

With many reports around the world all saying that as much 54% of learners in the classroom hit learning barriers. How are teachers trained to deal with this?

One Educator answered grimly and honestly and said “We are taught to focus on a certain portion of the classroom and once a learning exhibits difficulties, we send them to a psychologist or a psychiatrist to be labelled with a learning disability. This is not how it should be done. We need actual solutions because drugging our kids and labelling them with learning disabilities is not working. “

“We can teach but how do we tackle all the social problems that our learners face and how do we give learner support when we are not trained on it.” Said another educator during the intense survey.

There are many organizations outside our government across the country who are cognizant of this problem and have been extending their relief efforts to educators in order to tackle this dire situation requiring Learner Support. Organizations such as Zero Dropout Campaign, Education Charity program, Seeds of Africa and Scientology Volunteer Ministers who have been active in running Learner Support Professional Development workshop for educators and parents.

“Poverty and unemployment is directly linked to education quality. Improving the quality of education would have a positive impact in our country, this could not be more important than now when we are facing the worst rate of unemployment in our history. “Concluded Hlayisi.