Abstract: What seems normal in the schools of most countries is so frustratingly complex in SA. For a child to be taught, the teacher should at least come through the gates of the school. Then, for any teaching to take place, the teacher should move from the staff room (or some other hideout in the school) to the classroom. If that is achieved, the teacher should rise from her chair, open her mouth, and start to teach. Once that hurdle is crossed, one can only hope that what is spoken constitutes powerful teaching that translates into powerful learning. Those are many hurdles to cross for an ordinary SA teacher — the path from showing up as a teacher to delivering results is a winding dirt road full of potholes. To those who work in struggling schools, what minister Angie Motshekga announced this week was not at all surprising; in fact, several colleagues believe the statistics are actually much worse. Reading from the School Monitoring Survey 2017, the minister revealed that on an ...

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