Our future lies in the hands of our students. In our life time, the students who are at school with us now, will be responsible for us, for our quality of life, for the sustainability of our planet and for our survival.
Therefore it is in our best interest if the present school generation becomes happy, responsible, well-balanced adults who can handle our interests with insight.
To see book knowledge and academic skills as the only purpose to prepare students for life after school is by far not enough. Many incidents, some confirmed and others unconfirmed, of : corruption, sexual abuse, abuse and a general lack of empathy, of students and ex-students from prominent schools, are continuously covered in the media. Personally I have had to assist many students, past students and friends’ children, who have suffered from harsh behavior from other young people.
To assist young people to develop as moral, productive adults, takes much more than only conveying knowledge in a class room situation. A Young person, without drive, without caring for other people or distorted moral values, with a NSC qualification, is not somebody the older generation can rely on.
Such a person can also not be happy. To be happy one needs to be productive and to contribute to society.
We therefore expect much more from our teachers than just imparting knowledge to students in a class situation. Our teachers are involved in the general well-being of every student. (Guide lines, policies and further training that makes this possible, will be discussed in a following blog.) This requires extra hours after school, innovative lesson planning, outings, mutual respect and so much more.
Unfortunately, to maintain this atmosphere also requires interventions. And often unpopular interventions and actions. As written in our code of conduct, we know, accept and believe that drugs can only impact negatively on the development of a young person. Any form of abuse of mind altering substances impacts negatively on the abuser as well as on our kind, learning friendly environment.
The application of a policy of a substance free school environment, also leads to discontent. Each individual student with a problem is treated with empathy. Mostly they react positively, but it does happen at times that for the sake of the bigger picture of a stress free, excellent educational environment, students are asked to leave the school. I personally always find this very sad, but I do know that a NSC qualification in the hands of an unequipped person can do more harm than good. (This aspect will also be the discussed in a follow up post.)
In conclusion I am very, very proud of our learning environment and the ethics of both our teachers and staff.