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Can we treat teachers better? A 12-year-old novelist thinks so

Can we treat teachers better? A 12-year-old novelist thinks so

HUMPHREY NJOKU, BIRD STORY AGENCY CHIMAMANDA Yvonne Anyagwa always wanted to be a teacher. Inspired by her mother, Carol Anyagwa, a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Lagos, Anyagwa grew up viewing the teaching profession as honourable and prestigious. But before Amanda, as she likes to be called, had finished primary school, that dream had come crashing down. From what she saw around her, teachers, despite their critical role in society, teachers were not accorded the respect they deserved. “I was observant. I usually observed teachers, how students treat them anyhow; and how parents just do anything they…
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Online and in the classroom, COVID-19 has put new demands on teachers

Online and in the classroom, COVID-19 has put new demands on teachers

NHLANHLA MPOFU, Associate Professor, Rhodes University AS a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were on lockdown in South Africa from March 2020. They only partially reopened in June, despite teacher unions’ concerns about the timing and lack of adequate protection for teachers and learners. The unions’ objections about having to work in conditions that posed a risk to health were understandable. But they have been less vocal about the teachers’ need to be equipped with the skills and infrastructure to teach during a pandemic. The unpredictability of the pandemic and the restrictions on social interaction remain in place. No…
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COVID-19 disruption could be a chance to lay a firmer school maths foundation in South Africa

COVID-19 disruption could be a chance to lay a firmer school maths foundation in South Africa

CRAIG POURNARA, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, University of the Witwatersrand LYNN BOWIE, Visiting associate, University of the Witwatersrand IN South Africa, when Grade 9 learners return to school after the COVID-19 closures, they will have a maximum of 76 teaching days left in 2020. But given the safety requirements and the limited infrastructure in most schools, it’s highly unlikely that they will be able to attend school every day. This means the average Grade 9 learner in 2020 is likely to have less than half of a normal year’s time in class. While learners in schools for the middle…
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