Schools are putting unnecessary pressure on our kids, compromising their health and that of teachers, says the writer. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)
Schools are putting unnecessary pressure on our kids, compromising their health and that of teachers, says the writer. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Grade 12s need to rest and not made to attend school on weekends

By Letter to the Editor Time of article published Apr 21, 2021

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By Thabile Mange

Our education system is bad. It focuses on Grade 12s and ignores the foundation phase. Yet the foundation phase prepares pupils for higher grades. Once the foundation phase is shaky, other grades are also affected.

Our high schools in the townships are obsessed with a 100% matric pass rate. Consequently they compromise the rest period of pupils. The Department of Education needs to intervene as a matter of urgency.

In the townships, Grade 12s go to school from Monday to Sunday. This is wrong. They are putting unnecessary pressure on our kids. In the process, schools compromise their health, and that of teachers.

During the week, Grade 12s attend classes from 7am to 5pm. That’s 10 hours. As a result, they no longer do household chores. Now parents have to do everything – cook, wash dishes and clean the house. That’s unfair.

Saturday and Sunday are meant for pupils to rest. Kids no longer do extra mural activities and socialise. They are also not going to church anymore. They are treated like prisoners – there is no balance in their lives.

Matric pupils, who attend school in town, spend 6 hours or less in class. They rarely have extra classes. At the weekend, they are at home and they perform well, if not excellently. I’m talking about public schools here.

I’m not against pupils working hard and attending extra classes. I’m against kids going to school for seven days in the week. That’s too much. Our schools are chasing 100% pass rates at the expense of our children. This madness must come to a stop.

The Star

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