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Holistic education the only answer

Last week, Ukhanyo sports coordinator, Teddy Nyali, went in to Asanda Futhos’s Grade 5 class to give a message to his rugby players. He found the class quiet and working and when he asked the rugby players to stand up he noticed that most of them were in the two rows on the left of the class. It surprised him that they were not dotted around the room.

Asanda explained to Teddy that she seats the learners herself, as she found that that worked better. She further explained that learners were placed according to their learning abilities. The learners rotate each term according to their marks so like a sports log, they can be moved up a row or down. This is communicated to the class, so the learners know what is expected of them. They have responded by trying to improve and show their academic strength.

Asanda says this strategy improves class management and improves academic results as learners push themselves to do better.

Teddy was very chuffed to find that his rugby players were in the rows of the stronger academic performers. This was another illustration that the discipline, self-belief and hard work that sport teaches them improves them academically.

The layout of the classroom also allows Asanda to recognise more easily those who are not coping. She is able to educate according to their abilities and strategise ways to assist them improve.

Asanda came to the school as a teachers assistant and immediately got involved. She and Xolisa Duma became our first hip-hop coaches. Both now run our new sport, Cadets!

It is this holistic holistic education that the children respond to, as well as the educators. Ninety four percent of South African children do not receive this. That has to change.