Everyday I come to work, to school, dreading the day. Dreading the ill-mannered learners I have to deal with.
And even though it’s not all of them, the ones that are troublesome have the ability to bring you to your wits end.
Ill-mannered does not begin to describe them…
The coloured children who make themselves guilty of misbehaviour are disrespectful, disruptive , aggressive and down right audacious. They are fearless and have no problem challenging you in an aggressive manner showing no regard for the fact that you are the educator as well as an adult. They disrupt the teaching and learning process and appear to be untouchable. No discipline measures have any effect on them, not even the threat of suspension or expulsion has any effect.
The black learners are still victim to the past of oppression as they still cling to racial marginalisation that unfortunately is still evident between the different race groups of the school population. The irony is that Apartheid has been abolished for over 17 years and with most of them not older than sixteen it becomes ridiculous that this kind of mind-set exists with children who never lived it and was not even born when it came to a close as a policy of law.
These children are all victims of their circumstances. Result of parents not caring and teachers having given up on them. They come here to school because they have to. Because they have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do.
For some it is an opportunity to at least have one meal, often the only meal, from the feeding scheme, for the day. For others it is a means of avoiding adult responsibilities like caring for the sick and the younger ones at home. And for some it is a means to avoid chores.
Many of not all of them come from violent poverty stricken homes where their caregivers are submerged in their lives of cheap drugs and liquor, inappropriate sexual behaviour and violence. And very often these very children also falls victim to these vices and even victims of these evils.
These children come to school and try as much as they can to not let the world see where they come from. What they come from and how much they hurt. But sometimes all this pressure and pain becomes too much and they become rebellious, challenging educators and acting out in class. Very often dragging a few weaker ones with them. And before you know it in attempt to stop the disruption of your class and to contain the learner, you as the educator becomes part of the abusive cycle. Be it by lashing out,giving a few cuts or even sling a few insults. Such is how the saviour becomes the aggravator, leaving this child with no-one to go to. Leaving the child with even less support, perpetuating, accelerating and aggravating the already aggressive, challenging and disruptive behaviour.
And what is then done. The victim (the child) gets punished further by means of detention, suspension and sometimes even expulsion which more often than not, results in the child becoming a vagrant or gang member and get involved with drugs and liquor. With nobody taking responsibility for their part in this downward spiral.
So the cycle continues and is perpetuated by irresponsible parents and uncommitted educators.
A whole generation lost and ready and waiting for the next one to be failed and let down.