Imagine a school where morals and values are a top priority and where learners treat their teachers and peers with respect. Various studies accentuate the importance of life skills teaching but sadly, in most schools, this is not the case. The biggest challenge is often due to teachers not having sufficient time to focus on Life Skills lessons.
To address the lack of moral values in schools, School Advisor spoke to Mrs May Alli of Arc Skills – an organisation committed to assisting learners acquire values, virtues, and skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century.
Q1: Why is it important for children to have moral values?
If values aren’t taught to children, how will they know the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’? Values mould children and reflect on their character. Developing moral values can help them build sustainable relationships in every sphere of their lives. Values certainly help in eradicating problems such as dishonesty, violence, cheating, abuse, and jealousy from one’s life.
Q2: Why are moral values missing in schools?
According to published research, common reasons why Life Skills isn’t being taken seriously include:
- Teachers’ lack of understanding of the subject and whether they feel personally competent teaching it (depending on where their expertise lie)
- How policy documents present the Life Skills subject
- Teachers’ varied understanding and interpretations of the Life Skills policy.
- From anecdotal evidence, it appears that in some schools, school management teams (SMTs) and teachers place little value on Life Orientation as a learning area. Life Orientation periods for each grade are distributed at the end of the timetabling process and allocated as fillers to provide an equitable workload for teachers. In some cases, Life Orientation periods are often viewed as ‘free periods’.
Q3: How are teachers affected by the lack of moral values in the classroom?
There is always the fear that learners will become violent. Bullying is on the rise and we’ve also seen a spike in the rate of violent attacks towards fellow learners and teachers.
The media frequently reports on suicides of learners who are bullied in the school system. Bullying includes repeated incidents of abuse, both in the flesh and online (cyberbullying), and it has escalated over the years. Physical violence is escalating at a rapid rate annually too – both in and out of the classroom. In some instances of these violent attacks, it sadly even leads to the murder of learners and teachers.
In June 2019, the Gauteng Department of Education released the Education Roadmap 2019-2024. The MEC for Education, Mr Panyaza Lesufi, identified five strategic goals in this Roadmap. We believe that the third goal, which is “create safe schools that embody social cohesion, patriotism and non-violence to ensure social cohesion is present at schools as this will impact on the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom” requires urgent attention as it’s a testimony to the unsafe practices currently being experienced in South African schools.
Q4: What can a teacher do to improve their student’s moral values?
Teachers need to be more innovative when teaching life skill values by making it more fun and unique. This is why Arc Skills has designed the SOAR Values Programme for both the foundation and intermediate phases. The SOAR Values programme is inclusive as the learning pathway is integrated into the CAPS curriculum and encompasses a variety of teaching methodology.
Find out more: SOAR Skills
The SOAR Values Programme is based on behavioural psychology and developed by international pedagogical specialists. It prepares children for the globalised world and utilises interactive technology, gamified learning, practical activities and thought-provoking reflection to excite and inspire students.
SOAR Values is a “plug and play” programme which requires MINIMAL PREPARATION but provides a MAXIMUM LEARNING IMPACT for students and their teachers!
To find out more about the SOAR programme – or to implement it at your school, contact May Alli on (011) 454 5505 or email@example.com.