Ensure the teaching profession attracts high performers and not mediocre school leavers who see teaching as an option for survival, says JD Lovrenciear.
Much has been written about the state of our education system. Much more is said in social circles and offices.
Our leaders have come up with uncountable policies and action plans to help correct the numerous flaws and setbacks that have caused a serious slide.
What exactly do we do to resurrect an education system? Is there hope in the short run?
First, purge politics out of the education system. Politicians have no business to walk the corridors of institutions of learning or use schools, colleges and universities to bolster their political agendas.
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Second, practice meritocracy in the recruitment of teachers. Go for talent. Seek out candidates who see teaching as a vocation and not as a shortcut to permanent job security until retirement.
Third, ensure the teaching profession attracts high performers and not mediocre school leavers who see teaching as an option for survival.
Fourth, revamp the pay scales for the teaching profession to attract and demand high job performance.
Fifth, scrap this runaway bandwagon called private tuition. Tuition has become a money-making opportunity to exploit weaker students. Bring back extra classes into school premises, as we did many years ago when teachers took ownership of students’ performance.
Sixth, empower school principals and tertiary level deans and vice-chancellors to compete in propagating excellence among students. Cut out the suffocating knee-jerk bureaucracy widely practised out of a desperate need for political expediency.
Seventh, remove the civil service mentality that has become a permanent millstone on our schooling system.
Eighth, let schools be the breeding grounds of inspired learning and creativity. Detect early the strengths and weaknesses of students so that we can generate a productive, motivated workforce for the future.
Ninth, let university students become thinkers – and not doers or followers thriving on a cut-and-paste culture. Set higher standards for entry qualifications. The practice of giving everyone a chance to attend and finish university, no matter how bad their ability – because of the racial quota system that is intertwined with race-based political agendas – must be aborted with courage and conviction.
Only then can the education system of this country ever see light at the end of the tunnel.
Otherwise, be prepared to one day in the future bury a hopelessly failed education system that will eventually rob this nation of its productivity, competitive position in the region and human capital strengths.