oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Dissipline in die klaskamer - Deel 1 : Die bepalings van die Grondwet en Skolewet ten opsigte van dissiplinêre maatreëls in die klaskamer : geesteswetenskappe
'n Belangrike dimensie van die gebrek aan dissipline in Suid-Afrikaanse skole is die feit dat die Suid-Afrikaanse Skolewet (RSA 1996b) - en die oorbeklemtoning van leerderregte - ná 1994 onsekerheid by opvoeders teweeggebring het wat die toepassing en formulering van regmatige dissiplinêre maatreëls betref (Roos 2003:481). Dit is moontlik as gevolg hiervan dat baie opvoeders skynbaar nie daarin slaag om leerder-wangedrag aan te spreek en dissipline in die klaskamer te herstel nie. DÃt lei daartoe dat dié leerders in die klas wat wel op hulle studies wil fokus, dikwels as gevolg van die ontwrigtende gedrag van sekere leerders nie toegang tot gehalte-onderwys het nie (Joubert, De Waal en Rossouw 2004:84). Die doel van hierdie ondersoek is om te bepaal hoe opvoeders se bevoegdhede ten opsigte van die toepassing van dissiplinêre maatreëls deur die Handves van Regte (spesifiek met betrekking tot leerderregte) beïnvloed word. Dit is belangrik dat opvoeders moet weet presies wat hulle dissiplinêre bevoegdhede is, veral ten opsigte van die toepassing van dissiplinêre maatreëls wanneer dit nodig is, en hoe hierdie bevoegdhede deur die leerders se fundamentele regte beïnvloed word. 'n Deeglike literatuurstudie is gedoen om die bepalings van die Grondwet van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika (RSA 1996a) en die Skolewet (RSA 1996b) ten opsigte van die toepassing van dissiplinêre maatreëls in die klaskamer te ondersoek. Op hierdie manier is die doelstelling van die studie deur die bestudering en interpretasie van regsbronne en ander literatuur aangespreek.
The change to a democratic order in South Africa since 1994 also brought about major challenges for teachers. Possibly one of the greatest challenges is how to express their disciplinary competencies with regard to classroom discipline within the framework of the Bill of Rights as set out in Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996).
Teachers are often unsure regarding the extent to which the fundamental rights of learners who misbehave may be limited during the application of disciplinary measures in the classroom (Moswela 2008:93). Relating to this is the fact that there is apparently an inability amongst teachers to apply sufficient lawful disciplinary measures in the classroom after corporal punishment was declared illegal shortly after 1994. Many teachers feel powerless with regard to their ability to maintain discipline in the absence of corporal punishment (Mestry and Khumalo 2012:104; Marais and Meier 2010:41; Maphosa and Shumba 2010:387).
Beckmann and Joubert (in Oosthuizen, Rossouw and De Wet 2004:50) are of the opinion that most teachers have only a vague, general understanding of human rights and responsibilities. This ignorance results in their being afraid of unknowingly violating learners' rights during the application of disciplinary measures, and subsequently being accused of misbehaviour (Moswela 2008:93; Rossouw 2003:425). This often leads to a lack of discipline in the classroom, which in turn results in the fact that those learners in the class who do want to focus on their studies do not have access to quality education because of the disruptive behaviour of fellow learners (Joubert, De Waal and Rossouw 2004:84).
Furthermore, learners in South Africa often tend to overemphasise their rights, and insist on exercising those rights. In the process they are often dismissive of the rights of others (for example their teacher and fellow learners). Many learners seem to be unaware of the fact that exercising their rights goes hand in hand with certain responsibilities - or they deliberately choose to ignore this (Oosthuizen et al. 2004:66). Failing to acknowledge others' rights can lead to disciplinary problems in the classroom (Rossouw 2003:414), which, as mentioned before, may impede effective teaching and learning.
An important cause of the phenomenon that few teachers in South Africa have sufficient legal knowledge to exercise their disciplinary competencies and responsibilities with confidence is possibly the fact that few undergraduate teaching courses offer a full-fledged subject with regard to educational law. In fact, educational law often appears only at the level of honours courses (Moswela 2008:98).
This subject (the legal position of teachers) appears to have been neglected, also in the literature. As a result of this, many teachers do not know what their disciplinary competencies are with regard to the application of disciplinary measures (Moswela 2008:93; Rossouw 2003:425).
The purpose of this study was to address this gap by conducting a comprehensive literature study of the matters under discussion. The study was done to investigate the provisions of the Constitution (RSA 1996a) and the South African Schools Act (RSA 1996b) with regard to the application of disciplinary measures in the classroom. In this way, the purpose of the study, namely to determine how teachers' competencies with regard to the application of disciplinary measures are influenced by the Bill of Rights (specifically learners' rights), was addressed by studying and interpreting legal sources and other literature.
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