ASRI Short Paper Series on Education Policy

THE IMPORTANCE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF SCHOOL COUNSELLING PROGRAMMES
by LERATO MAHWAI

(Contributors)

Abstract

“The quality of the education system impacts on any society in a variety of ways. This paper proposes the need for psychosocial support services such as school counselling programmes in South African schools to further improve the quality of the education system. Schools have an important role to play in raising healthy children by fostering not only their cognitive development, but also their social and emotional development. It is not just learners’ cognitive abilities that are important for performing school tasks; learners’ ability to regulate their emotions is also essential as these processes work together to improve academic performance. Research has shown that learners who have access to school counselling programs display fewer signs of emotional distress and present fewer behavioural problems than those who do not have access to such program. This paper concludes that learners need access to psychosocial support services or programmes in place to help them deal with emotional, psychological and behavioural problems that constantly hinders them from performing well in their academic programmes.”

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CRITICAL LITERACY, CITIZENSHIP, AND THE VALUE OF EDUCATION IN CONTEMPORARY SOUTH AFRICA
by ANGELO FICK

(Contributors)

Abstract

“Critically literate citizens are essential for sustaining and maintaining democratic institutions and the freedoms they engender. Education, therefore, should be conceived beyond mere utility, its value for industry. Human beings should be thought of as more than productive units, their complex lives reduced, their status defined as homo economicus. To this end it is crucial to imagine the function of educating young people differently, and to assess the success of education beyond pass rates, passing through school and higher education. To sustain democracy, the success of education should also be reckoned by the longer-term positive outcomes, which include but are not limited to giving citizens of a democratic society the means to make their lives differently and with greater freedom, not just in service of economic goals and outcomes, and beyond individual profit towards the larger goal.”

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FIXING GAUTENG’S EDUCATION SYSTEM IS VITAL TO SOUTH AFRICA’S SUCCESS
by MARIUS ROODT

(Contributors)

Abstract

“Despite being the richest province, Gauteng’s students lagged behind some of their counterparts in other provinces when it came to average achievement in reading and literacy. Gauteng is a rich province and it should be doing much better. Its success is also vital to the success of South Africa. The country will not succeed with a failed Gauteng. An excellent education system is a vital ingredient in ensuring a successful Province. The first change that could be made is that there could be increased parental involvement in schools.

There is research evidence that suggests that greater parental and community involvement leads to better educational outcomes. A further way of perhaps looking to improve the educational outcomes of schools is looking into implementing a charter school system. Third, existing Schools that perform well, such as Afrikaans schools, should be strengthened in the Province, rather than undermined. These interventions at cultural and policy level, will ensure a focus on improved educational outcomes rather than the headline grabbing “politicking” around education that we have witnessed from political leaders. ”

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