Find out about the NGO Equal Education. Go to their site to sign a petition for minimum infrastructure standards, such as a water and electricity supply and safe buildings for all South African schools.
Too many schools in South Africa do not have adequate facilities
The awareNet group at VGHS organised a day when most teachers taught their classes without or with few of their normal resources. This was in support of all the schools in South Africa which operate normally with a lack of resources such as no electricity, inadequate toilet facilities, too few desks or chairs, no text books or too few classrooms.
The girls gave a Motivational Presentation in Assembly two days before the day of action to infrom the entire school about the day:
On Fri 3rd May most of the school operated without electricity and most toilets (for staff and learners were locked. The learners did not have text books for most subjects or had to share textbooks between 4 or 5, copied handouts or worksheets were nor provided and only minimal writing material was allowed. They were taught without enough desks or chairs, without any or even outside. Teachers shared classrooms and even taught more than one subject at the same time.
Towards the end of the day all learners and staff completed a questionnaire and reflection to give their opinion on what resources are essential or important for a school to provide a proper education. These data will be published here on awareNet and sent to Equal Education to help support the campaign.
During my schools low resource simulation, i experienced alot of... difficulties learning and staying focused on schoolwork, i was more concerned about my cold bum and aching spine.What we did was, we sat on the floor, the blackboards and whiteboards were not allowed to be used, we wrote an E.M.S test outside under a tree, we had to share desks, pencils and small pages for our Afrikaans class and our school bell was not functional, so they used a hand bell. Basically what im saying is it was really uncomfortable and hard to learn without desks, paper, computors, right amount of pens, right amount of pencils, a big enough classroom it was terrible and i can imagine how the children in rural schools must feel. And I felt like a pig for not appreciating what i have. So would you say that its the RIGHT time of day, month and year to JOIN AGAINST UNEQUAL EEEDDUUUCCAAAAAATTTIIIOOONNN!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
The experience proved to be one of the worst day at school.I realized that not having any resources at school was nerve wrecking.
The worst highlight of the day, was when one of the teachers taught 2 different classes.The teacher had to shuffle from one subject to another,and the noise level kept on increasing rapidly.My concentration level deteriorated drastically.
However with this said this experience was a wake up call for me, to appreciate the resources that are available at school.
It was a very uncormfortable day for me and I would not want to go through that, ever again. I feel a great deal of concern for those who go through such tedious challenges everyday, just to get access to education. I mean how tolerant can one be after having to share a desk with 3 others while being taught by a teacher ? How can one actually learn under a tree while the winter weather outside is freezing? Its absolute nonsence! We, students in schools, need books, pens, rulers, libraries, science labs and computer labs! It is time for us to unite! Unite against unequal education!!!!!!!!!
Having to learn and get some work done proved to be quite a challenge as the circumstances were not so nice. I have the outmost respect for those pupils who learn such under conditions and still manage to pass year after year.
One of the worst experiences for me was attempting to write notes while sharing a desk with three or four other pupils. Having only one ladies room was not pleasant at all as there was constantly a long cue and not enough loo paper to go around. I have become so dependent on things like textbooks and handouts that not having access to them was simply horrible, having to go through a poem and analyse it without having it in front of me was so frustrating!
I will never take the quality of education that I am receiving for granted as there are a lot of young South Africans out there who would like to be in my position.
My aching back and uncomfortable posture kept reminding me that I was sitting on the cold, dirty floor. My concentration was not good enough and I was squinting at my notes because the lights were turned off. If I had to learn in these conditions every single school day my marks would suffer. It made me realise how important all the things I take advantage of at school were. It made me realise that with everything that is available for me at school, I should not complain about silly things. There should be things that all schools must have because a school is not functional unless people are able to learn.
Tjo! What a day i had on friday. I really felt privileged to be in a school such as Victoria Girls' High School, as were a very fortunate school with lots of functional facilities and infustracture. I'm in the above picture were Dr Hanton moved the life science class outside and where only allowed one writting utensile and a piece of paper. Thereafter we wrote a test and speaking behalf of the class we found it very difficult specialy when it came to drawing the diagram and not having a question paper.
After everything the worst part of my day was during english when Mr Schmidt, our Headmaster was teaching us english in the store room where it was dusty, smelly, had absolutely no windows and myself being very claustrophobic, so you can just imagine how i felt. The worst part of it was that, whilst he was teaching The Tiger-an english examinable poem, he was also teaching a grade10 history class, which i found vey difficult to concentrate during the lesson as I found myself also paying attention to their histroy lesson and not thinking about the english poem that we grade 11s were doing. It really made me understand why the Eastern Cape has such a low matric pass rate, as how can these students cope and study in such conditions' i dont blame them after friday! they really need beter facilities as just a small difference can make such a big change in these students lives.
when i found out about this project i was very interested in joining and putting my input where ever i can. i must say i'm really blown away by the way its going and i'm very proud to be a part of it. it is a story for the history books, in a way you're changing people's lives. we're making a better future for hundreds of people in the Eastern Cape. its really cool, and i hope it all turns out well.
On Friday the 5th of May, when VGHS participated in the low resources, i didnt expect it to go as well as it did. i had my parents calling me from home and asking me what it was about. i was happy to explain it to them because i felt like pro at it, it made me feel like an activist. [in a way]
during the day my lessons were a bit different, but what i hated the most was the OVERCROWDING, no learning could be done whatsoever, and i couldnt hear the teacher. i also noticed that its not a matter of children not wanting to learn but you get irritating of learning in such harsh conditions. school becomes worse than home, you dont get excited to go to school, you see it as going to play for 7 hours with your friends. you no longer have an interest in education as a whole, and that shouldnt be the case.
i advice many people to take part in projects like these. you learn a lot from them and they make you wiser as a person. help out where you can, with a smile on your face hoping for a better outcome. you may be a kid but you can play a big role in helping other kids.
when i grow up i want to travel Africa, teach english and other school subjects, help out in hospitals and children's homes in those areas. being a part awarenet as a whole is the first step into starting that dream. it all starts at home [south africa] and i am very proud to be a part of VGHS and i thank Dr Hanton for opening up such an awesome opportunity :)
My aching back and uncomfortable posture kept reminding me that I was sitting on the cold, dirty floor. My concentration was not good enough and I was squinting at my notes because the lights were turned off. The horrible stench that came out of the toilets and filled the corridor, gave me a good reason not to use the only toilets that were open for all the learners. Fortunately it was not too cold but still the floor was cold so if it was cold outside everyone could have frozen on the floor. If I had to learn in these conditions every single school day my marks would suffer. It made me realise how important all the things I take advantage of at school were. It made me realise that with everything that is available for me at school, I should not complain about silly things. There should be things that all schools must have because a school is not functional unless people are able to learn.
At the end of our low resources day teachers and learners completed a questionnaire regarding what infrstructure they thought was necessary or not necessary for a school to provide an adequate education. Here are some of the results: