How increasing the number of educators can lead to a better quality of education in 2021
Society often associates quality education to the institution providing it and has the misconception that state of the art technology, green playing fields and large classrooms are the epitome of just that.
The truth is that quality education is only as good as the educator that provides it. It would be of no use having a school with great facilities run by a team of disinterested and inept teachers.
Many children across Africa are still being taught under the shade of a tree, these can be classes of up to 70 students under the guidance of one teacher. Although frowned upon by many, it has to be acknowledged that these children are being taught by people that have chosen to dedicate their lives to educating and nurturing their youth in dire circumstances and in turn are dedicated to learning.
It’s remarkable that in the current day many children have not received any form of schooling. A recent study carried out by UNESCO revealed that approximately 263 million youth, worldwide are not receiving a formal education, 25 million of that figure are primary school children. The problem we face in today’s world is the undeniable lack of teachers. These statistics aim to help achieve the UN’s 4th goal (Quality Education), by establishing the number of teachers needed, in order for every child to be in full-time education by the year 2030.
The United Nations has in total 17 “Sustainable Development Goals”, which, if achieved are believed to lead to world peace and universal prosperity for the planet and its people by that time, these include tackling issues of poverty, hunger, climate change and employment. They recognise that qualified teachers are essential in the journey towards universal harmony and play a critical role in improving lives.
Education essentially expands our knowledge of the world around us, opens the mind to solutions and paves the way towards full societal participation, leading to a better quality of life. Remarkably the statistics point towards the need for an additional 17 million primary and secondary school educators in sub-Saharan Africa alone and 24.4 million worldwide, if the UN are to achieve this goal.
But what constitutes quality education? To start with there needs to be an increase in teacher to student ratios. Studies have shown that smaller class sizes lead to better engagement from students as well as a recorded increase in pass rates. In South Africa, there are currently not enough teachers to provide education to those in need and often the amount of students surpasses a 40 to 1 ratio when the goal ratio would be 25 to 1.
As the population booms, the need for educators becomes ever more necessary. Quality education becomes apparently better when students are taught by teachers that cultivate supportive and nurturing environments and who show an invested interest in the development of their students.
Research has shown that the expression of genuine value in a pupil’s progress has more of an effect on their achievement than the teacher’s knowledge of a subject, although it must be noted the two should ideally go hand in hand.
For those interested in studying to become teachers, it’s important to choose an institute that fosters the same set of values they would aim to project as educators themselves.
One of the top choices for many South African teachers interested in the foundation and intermediate phases of education are establishments like Cornerstone Institute, who run their courses from a core set of values. With great emphasis placed on making a difference to the world through education, it is exactly the type of place prospective teachers should aim to gain their qualification from.
Quality education is achieved through increasing the number of quality educators, remembering that a pupil's learning success is largely dependent on the relationships they have with their teachers. By increasing the number of educators in the country we have a chance of reaching the goal of creating access for all to education, and a chance at peace and prosperity for all humankind and our planet by 2030.
For more information on Cornerstone Institute visit www.cornerstone.ac.za