The SA schooling system is under siege: teachers are under attack, students are attacking each other, parents are physically fighting teachers and robbers are brazenly attacking schools with not a worry about the safety of the pupils.
The idea that the school yard is a place of safety is long gone – school children literally have nowhere to run to.
As parents, we have no assurance that once our children enter the gates of academia, for nine hours their children are in a safe environment.
Uninformed opinions that turn viral videos racial, fuel a dangerous fire.
In my school days, I believed every comment that did not sit well with me came from racial intolerance … until a teacher explained not everything is about race and that there is no sense in winning minute battles only to lose the overall war… I then realised my learning opportunities were obstructed by an unnecessary defence mechanism…
I learnt teachers, while I was on school property, were my parents. They carried the very same authority as mama and papa… if I disrespected them, I was disrespecting Mr and Mrs Nakeli.
My mother, also an educator, once said: “I will never allow someone, teachers included, to ill-treat you, but for the purposes of teaching instilling respect, I will never argue in your presence – but believe me when I say I have your back…”
That’s the way my mother handled most student-teacher conflicts. I never had to go toe-to-toe with a person of authority. Why can’t parents nowadays follow such sage advice?
The violence in our daily lives has now spilled over onto school premises. Pupils beat and ultimately kill a man at age 15 – then brag about it.
We need to go back to the time when school was a safe zone. An environment of learning, development and interaction needs to be restored – and government cannot do this alone…
As parents, we must be held accountable for our children’s behaviour because who they are at school is a reflection of our control as caregivers.