Throughout the interviews it became evident that SMTs must take responsibility and implement more problem-solving initiatives in order to help minimise the damaging effects of overcrowdedness and empower teachers when teaching in such classes. Skelton (2014:1) is also of the opinion that failure in improving school infrastructure in South Africa is because of the management capacity that is required by large infrastructure projects and according to her the DBE lacks proper management. The study also searched for possible solutions to this problem. South Africa: Overcrowded Classrooms Add to School Woes. The participants included heads of departments, primary school principals, higher education lecturers and a department of basic education official. One of the participants pointed out the importance of having self-discipline if you want to be able to manage an overcrowded class: ‘in the first place, you need a lot of self-discipline, because you have to apply your discipline strategies consistent[ly]’. Vander Ark, T., 2002, ‘The case for small high schools’, Educational Leadership 59(5), 55–59. June 2014 Green, W., Adendorff, A. The purpose of this study was to gather information regarding all the factors related to overcrowded classrooms, and the impact of overcrowded classrooms within the Foundation Phase schooling system. The participants also recognised that teachers must take their own initiative and consistently implement improved, research-based classroom management and discipline strategies to help manage the challenging classroom realities. Didactical neglect also refers to the lack of differentiated learning and standardisation of learning content within Foundation Phase classrooms. to students in overcrowded More recently, the DBE has committed to provide appropriate and adequate basic education infrastructure by anticipating the spending of 51.4% (R40.4bn) of their total budget over the MTEF period on various activities related to school infrastructure. Overcrowded classrooms present difficulty for teachers in South Africa (Mtika, 2010). The participants made it clear that: ‘[A] teacher cannot handle 30 or more children. %%EOF Findings: Based on the findings, the impact of and challenges (such as didactical neglect, discipline issues and negative teacher attitudes) related to overcrowdedness was elaborated on, and practical recommendations were made regarding possible solutions. According to a study by Abdoll and Barberton (2014:vii) that was commissioned by the Centre for Child Law because of insufficient reliable information and non-existing norms and standards on school infrastructure, precise statistics and numbers of the infrastructure backlog are unavailable. However, it was identified by the participants as lacking in effectiveness within schools. & Konstantopoulos, C., 2000, ‘The effects of small classes on academic achievement: The results of the Tennessee class size experiment’, American Educational Research Journal 37(1), 123–151. However, the study provides information on, and a description of, the challenges teachers might be facing within overcrowded Foundation Phase classrooms in South Africa. Didactical neglect refers to the teacher’s inability to pay enough attention to each learner’s educational needs. This study focused on overcrowdedness within Foundation Phase classrooms, an essential phase in learners’ development, in the Tshwane-West district of South Africa. The ratio of teachers to students in South African public schools is 1:32. Submitted in accordance with the requirements for degree of . Another problem identified with using standardised teaching series is the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that is involved. You have to do your own planning, plan your own lessons and know what you will need in order to make it understandable for your own learners’, ‘the learners that you know.’ (Participant 6, female, HOD). International Study Centre, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, viewed 02 January 2018, from https://timssandpirls.bc.edu/pirls2016/international-results/. The first code relates to the broader level within the school, and the second code is at classroom level, as the responsibility of the teacher. 133–144, Van Schaik, Pretoria. Overcrowding is one of the most significant issues facing schools and teachers in the United States today. Even though the DBE is currently investigating the possibility of eradicating backlogs, Skelton (2014:3–4), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Chair of Education Law in Africa and the Director of the Centre for Child Law, believes that the DBEs’ strategic planning is questionable because they have underspent the Eastern Cape’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) schools infrastructure backlog grant and only delivered 10 schools, while their target was 49 schools. There are various factors that are contributing to the overcrowding of classrooms in South African schools. EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT . 27-33. Abdoll and Barberton (2014:viii) state that at the current infrastructure delivery rate, 2023/2024 is a realistic timeframe for the eradication of the schools infrastructure backlog. More peer-guiding needs to be done, so that we can mentor each other and especially the novice teacher.’ (Participant 9, female, HE lecturer). ‘Out-of-school’ factors that have an impact on the repetition rates of learners include the socio-economic status of their family, levels of school readiness and parental involvement in schools (DoE 2008:70–72). Lake, M., 2012, ‘Anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and trauma related disorders’, in A. Burke (ed. Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. Another participant agreed and explained that teachers are currently using pre-designed teaching series such as ‘Platinum’ and ‘Oxford’, which is part of the problem: ‘[B]ecause if you receive planning from someone else, you don’t really know what is going on. Background: The South African education system is characterised by a shortage of teachers and inadequate school infrastructure which is contributing to the overcrowded nature of South African classrooms. A teacher cannot even deal with so many learners, so this is where the greatest dysfunction in our schools come [sic] from.’ (Participant 5, female, HE lecturer). This meant that for every 32 students in the school, there is 1 teacher. The burdens of excess administration and assessment also align with didactical neglect as ‘it is also very difficult to assess fully in oversized classrooms, you are giving no individual attention and have no idea what the learner’s barriers or strengths are’. There have been a number of researchers who have looked into the effects of private schooling, bussing, and year-round calendars as a means of reducing class size as well as for providing more resources (books, teachers, aids, desks, lockers, etc.) The excess administration and assessment associated with overcrowded classrooms, as well as constant changes made within the curriculum, were all influential factors related to teachers’ attitudes and their decreasing motivation and commitment. It was inferred from the data collected that the effective implementation of discipline strategies does not refer to the specifics of the discipline strategies, but rather about the way it is implemented. West, J. The participants pointed out that it is the responsibility of everyone involved within the education system, including SMTs: ‘It is the school-system that must help control this. In 2007, there was an estimated school infrastructure backlog of more than R7bn (Sebake, Mputlane & Gibberd 2007:362). The OECD has an average membership of over 34 countries, including Finland, Australia and the Netherlands, all of whom promote a lower LER in schools (OECD 2011:392). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2011, Education at a glance: What is the student-teacher ratio and how big are classes?, viewed 31 May 2015, from https://www.oecd.org/edu/skills-beyond-school/48631144.pdf. 2.2 origin and development up to 1910. Schools that reported enrollments above 105 percent of capacity were considered overcrowded. South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) says overcrowding in classrooms and a lack of infrastructure at schools are some of the major challenges teachers are facing.. Sadtu says many schools in the country still don’t have toilets, libraries and laboratories. '�HAJ There are however models in Chile and Brazil, for example, that may work effectively in a South African setting, given their explicit handling of MASTER OF EDUCATION . Practical recommendations presented in this study are based on two key role players in the education system: the SMTs and the teachers. The importance and relevance of this study is evident in how it creates an awareness of the challenges teachers face, sometimes without any support or assistance. Delport, C.S.L. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, viewed 03 December 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/ace/. Department of Education (DoE), 2001, White Paper 6: Special needs education, Department of Education, Pretoria. Two predominant themes came to light through the interviews: (1) challenges within overcrowded classrooms and (2) possible strategies for teaching in overcrowded classrooms. There are various potential stressors within an overcrowded classroom, such as didactical neglect, noise level and over stimulation, which can have a direct influence on a learner. An overcrowded classroom presents challenges that can feel nearly impossible to overcome, even to the most effective teachers. When investigating the LER of a country, it is important that the growing learner enrolment rate is measured against the teacher graduation rate. 17-21. (Participant 2, male, school principal), ‘An example of problematic discipline issues that I have observed at a school was that there were children walking around all the time, they came and went as they liked and it was concerningly [sic] a Foundation Phase classroom.’ (Participant 10, female, DBE official). The problematic behaviour shown by learners in overcrowded classrooms resembles behaviour exhibited by learners who experience acute stress, resulting in a fight or flight response. By . For example, an LER of 9–15:1 is an acceptable LER for 5-year-olds (Grade R learners). The effects of overcrowded classrooms are far-reaching for teachers and learners. h��V�oSU?ᆳ��Zt���ĭ����M-~�+Y�f:�X_�!���l��BC4�m]�u��0����B5��_ H|#E!Y��1�̄��M4@��}m����r߽��s>�|�97y {�ij� ��A��j{�T%�e�� %,��Z�TUTBI��ĆW �_Tu4�Z��-X0�:��2P�.�9�Wi�k��M c�~f��W��=s�4��K�3�2z�O��e�PB�Vc?Y�OD�D�.�'�����\k����/��zM��Xm�z�8�/?�\!>�Ϭ�>�0;�\�� �?����[(�v��g�!߄��3ש ����Nƌ�Xpe���~�Ԝ�"s]e?�_��F�bfb�0=����U��H���{r�����$kR_�.H�����>�pT1Vt�����/����}�1��abY��@~�h��?%~� Nieuwenhuis, J., 2013, ‘Analysing qualitative data’, in K. Maree (ed. Constructive interaction with the learners is impossible due to the amount of learners. These include (1) the appointment of assistant teachers, (2) mentorship programmes and (3) effective ‘in-service training’. From the data collected from the participants it can be inferred that with the appointment of assistant teachers, didactical neglect (as discussed in theme 1) will decrease. Rapid urbanization, unmatched by an associated supply of housing, has resulted in overcrowding in the cities of many developing countries, including in Johannesburg, South Africa. Overcrowding is one of the most significant issues facing schools and teachers in the United States today. Overcrowded classrooms occur as a result of a shortage of teachers, a lack of school infrastructure and a high number of poorly resourced no-fee (quintiles 1–3) schools. A lack of discipline and its damaging impact were discussed in theme 1 as a problem related to overcrowdedness. Inductive coding and a priori codes also assisted in analysing, categorising, testing and refining the collected data. (2014:6), the teacher shortage is particularly severe in the Foundation Phase (grades R–3); the number of teacher graduates is too low to meet the needs of the phase. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016, Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) study. Examples of inadequate ‘in-school’ factors, such as a lack of resources and inadequate infrastructure, include 41.8% of schools without electricity, 70% of schools without access to computers, 79% of schools without libraries and overcrowded classrooms with an average learner–educator ratio (LER3) of 33:1, that is, one teacher for every 33 learners (DBE 2013:85, 2014b:4; Ndebele 2014:463). In light of the identified solution of SMTs initiating more problem-solving solutions, the following three strategies were identified by the participants for SMTs to implement within their schools. They must also take into account and respect the multicultural nature of their classrooms when implementing discipline-related strategies. According to Thompson and Haskins (2014:3), stress can arise from the chaos and unpredictability in close environments such as overcrowded classrooms. 6188 0 obj <>stream Thus, possible fight or flight reactions of learners to the overcrowded classroom environment can be planned for and accommodated. Table 2 gives an outline of the second theme: ‘possible strategies for teaching in overcrowded classrooms’, with its associated codes and sub-codes. Green, Adendorff and Mathebula (2014:6) are of the opinion that the current LER of 33:1 in South Africa is not likely to decrease significantly over the next few years because of the lack of infrastructure and spike in learner enrolment rates. Teachers are struggling to cope with overcrowded classrooms at Emvumelwano Primary School in Wallacedene, Western Cape. Didactical neglect as a result of an unbalanced LER was argued by researchers, such as Cortes et al. 22-26. University of Arusha graduate school students (Ernest Benson, Edward Sahani, Elijah Daniel Bayyo, Isaiah Peter and James Kapanga) who assisted in the data collection; head teachers, teachers and students from the schools which were involved in the research and lastly the research editor, Mr. Elijah. June 2014 Overcrowded classrooms are still an issue of concern that is impacting negatively on teachers in South Africa and the KwaZulu-Natal province in particular. Another aspect of effective mentoring mentioned by a participant was ‘peer mentoring’. and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This study was guided by the ‘acute stress response’ known as the fight or flight response. 4th impression, pp. 2000:146–147; Dreyer & Duminy 1983:158–159; Hungi 2011:21; OECD 2011:392; Van Wyk 2008:143), it was concluded that smaller classes, where students numbered below 20, produce better academic performance, such as improved reading skills. She would also like to thank Louise Greyling for all her effort and insight regarding the editing of this article. 100–151, Oxford, Cape Town. This study attempts to unveil the assumed negative effects of overcrowding and make policy recommendations based on the findings. 45–60, Van Schaik, Pretoria. overcrowded classrooms, especially in public secondary school level. One participant explained that ‘the high noise level within an overcrowded class is a [sic] enormous problem for teaching…’ Other participants stated that: ‘The smaller a class, the less the noise would be. ), South Africa survey 2014/2015, pp. Predominately overcrowded classrooms are a major problem in some schools in South Africa. According to Abdoll and Barberton (2014:1), a dilapidated school infrastructure can be found ‘across the country’. Killen, R., 2010, Teaching strategies for quality teaching and learning, Juta, Claremont, CA. Classes have over 50 children; 35 would be normal. Egbert, J. These influential factors with regard to overcrowded classrooms can also be associated with the fight or flight behaviour presented by the teachers. Department of Education (DoE), 2008, Ministerial committee on learner retention in the South African schooling system, Department of Education, Pretoria. Dreyer, H.J. Kapp (ed. Another issue regarding improved classroom management and discipline involves effective planning and preparation when teaching in overcrowded classrooms. A major discrepancy was found between the supply and demand of Foundation Phase graduates from 2008 to 2012, in comparison to teachers qualifying for other school phases. 0 111–125, Van Schaik, Pretoria. (2014:16) predicted that for an LER of 31:1 to be maintained for 2020, 147 074 Foundation Phase teachers alone will be needed to accommodate the population expansion in 2020. Learners’ problematic behaviour, such as lack of attention, boredom, lack of discipline, fighting and even vandalising resources (Marais 2016:5), can be related to overcrowded classrooms. The admission policy of 1998 that forms part of the National Education Act 27 of 1996 states that public primary schools should however not exceed an LER of 40:1 (Republic of South Africa 1996:s.p.). This meant that for every 32 students in the school, there is 1 teacher. Problems Created by Overcrowded Classrooms . A classroom is said to be overcrowded in which the number of students exceeds the optimum level such that it causes hindrance in the teaching-learning process. A teacher’s motivation is also associated with a teacher’s attitude. Doing their own planning will enable teachers to implement inclusivity and differentiation by accommodating different learning abilities and styles. �%�P)@�Џ��Qb9�� RN������ {F Ineffectiveness of mentorship programmes has been ascribed to teachers being overworked and burdened with too many administrative and assessment duties as discussed in theme 1. 67–97, Van Schaik, Pretoria. In 2008, the South African Ministerial Committee on Learner Retention observed high repetition rates as early as Grade 1 (Department of Education [DoE] 2008:xii). }, author={N. Muthusamy}, year={2015} } When taking into account all the challenges associated with overcrowded classrooms, it is also necessary to investigate possible ‘coping strategies’ or solutions. The South African LER is more than double the average of … The effective implementation of a mentorship programme and in-service training by the SMTs are further strategies that will assist, equip, support and empower teachers who are struggling with teaching in overcrowded classrooms. #�D (2007:5) confirmed this by noting that research has indicated that the academic performance improvements seen in young learners from smaller classes tend to sustain the academic performance improvements that are maintained till higher grades. One participant stated that ‘around administration and your assessment, it all becomes just too much to handle’. I��������jӧ:4�V�)"�J+�6�U�!%#�^a1��Lu�g�,/��|r2m�Ul�+��p���2�L&��2I�No��oAu�I.�F7j��0U��J�����K��ˠV��Ӵ=W�i$������F���)��n�1�����CAn��4&ߺ�v����������K����Қ�J[�7"���� z���|�g��Ψ��[ � x�&Y��զK�O�ȟ�"! In the 2016 PIRLS assessment, the South African literacy results were also alarming. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) created a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences, research and seek solutions for problems, such as high LERs. & Weinstein, J.M., 2012, ‘Making the grade: The impact of classroom behaviour on academic achievement’, paper presented at the APPAM Fall Research conference, Baltimore, MD, 8–10 November, viewed 10 October 2016, from https://www.appam.org/events/fall-research-conference/2012/. (o�}�4 ���Z�t)2�р�"�S!H���E5�QB��tI������{� The effects of overcrowded classrooms are far-reaching for teachers and learners. Nieuwenhuis, J., 2010, ‘Qualitative research design and data gathering techniques’, in K. Maree (ed. Stress may also cause cognitive disturbances in children, including interference with academic performance, academic delays, attention disorders and other cognitive errors (Mash & Wolfe 2012:416, 419). Research covering the period between 2002 and 2014 showed that nation-wide, more than one-quarter of formal, low-cost dwellings in South Africa were overcrowded . Jensen, E., 2011, Different brains, different learners: How to reach the hard to teach, 2nd edn., Corwin, San Diego, CA. According to Emmanuel (2013:11), the OECD (2011:392) and Skelton (2014:4), school infrastructure and the LER have a great impact on the quality of education, and are some of the most influential factors when considering increasing academic performance in classrooms. Mullis, I.V., Martin, M.O., Foy, P. & Hooper, M., 2017, PIRLS 2016: International results in reading. South Africa had 24 453 public schools in 2010 and the number has declined to 23 076 SA battling with overcrowded classes, yet 1 400 public schools were shut down in past 10 years News 2.3 transformation of dcs in the democratic south africa. Data were transcribed to allow for all the details of the interviews to be captured, and for the identification of important word-for-word quotes from participants. Bernstein, A., 2015, Centre for development and enterprise: Teachers in South Africa: Supply and demand 2013–2025, viewed 10 November 2015, from https://www.cde.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Final-Revised-ES-TeacherSupplyandDemand2025.pdf. Teachers must think of creative ways in which to use their available spaces, ‘teachers can even use the space outside of the class’, such as the ‘classroom patio’ or ‘the playgrounds’; those spaces can be used for ‘language games’ or ‘group work’. & Duminy, P.A., 1983, Education 2: A course in psych pedagogics, Maskew Miller Longman, Cape Town. Therefore, achieving the LER of 33:1 in South Africa can be seen as a major challenge for the education system. Most government schools and colleges in South Africa have overcrowded classrooms, where the teachers struggle to deliver effective lessons to over 50-60 children. All of the above results of overcrowdedness were found to influence teachers’ attitudes towards teaching. South Africa’s increasingly poor Grade 12 outputs and current retention rates further indicate that there is a crisis in education. Another participant agreed by stating that the class could be ‘divided into groups and then the assistant teacher can take responsibility for some of the groups’. 419–530, Institute of Race Relations, Johannesburg. Most of the participants placed emphasis on improved lesson planning as a possible strategy in helping to deal with the impact of overcrowdedness. 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overcrowded classrooms in south africa pdf

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