Overcrowded classrooms – the Achilles heel of South African education?

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dc.contributor.author West, Joyce
dc.contributor.author Meier, Corinne
dc.date.accessioned 2021-03-25T11:51:13Z
dc.date.available 2021-03-25T11:51:13Z
dc.date.issued 2020-04
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND : The South African education system is characterised by a shortage of teachers and inadequate school infrastructure which is contributing to the overcrowded nature of South African classrooms. The current national learner–educator ratio (LER) is 33:1, and some classes have even reported an LER value of 50:1 and higher. The South African LER is more than double the average of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s international average of 16:1. AIM : This research has been conducted to identify overcrowdedness in classrooms as a factor associated with poor academic achievement. SETTING : A qualitative research approach served this study best when an investigation was launched into the impact of overcrowded classrooms in the Foundation Phase in the Tshwane- West district. METHODS : The study’s sample comprised 10 purposefully chosen participants who are knowledgeable and experienced in the field of teaching in overcrowded classrooms in the Foundation Phase. The participants included heads of departments, primary school principals, higher education lecturers and a department of basic education official. In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted with each of the participants. FINDINGS : Based on the findings, the impact of and challenges (such as didactical neglect, discipline issues and negative teacher attitudes) related to overcrowdedness was elaborated on, and practical recommendations were made regarding possible solutions. CONCLUSION : This study conclude by emphasising the importance of a combined effort between all role players, such as the School Management Teams and the teachers, when dealing with the challenges posed by overcrowdedness. en_ZA
dc.description.department Early Childhood Education en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2021 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.sajce.co.za en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation West, J. & Meier, C., 2020, ‘Overcrowded classrooms – The Achilles heel of South African education?’, South African Journal of Childhood Education 10(1), a617. https://DOI.org/ 10.4102/sajce.v10i1.617. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2223-7674 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 2223-7682 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.4102/ sajce.v10i1.617
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/79114
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher AOSIS en_ZA
dc.rights © 2020. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Challenges en_ZA
dc.subject Fight or flight response en_ZA
dc.subject Overcrowdedness en_ZA
dc.subject Stress en_ZA
dc.subject School management teams (SMTs) en_ZA
dc.subject Teachers en_ZA
dc.subject Learner–educator ratio (LER) en_ZA
dc.title Overcrowded classrooms – the Achilles heel of South African education? en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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