Imagine a school where morals and values are a top priority and where learners treat their teachers and peers with respect. Various studies accentuate the importance of life skills teaching but sadly, in most schools, this is not the case. The biggest challenge is often due to teachers not having sufficient time to focus on Life Skills lessons.
To address the lack of moral values in schools, we chatted to Mrs May Alli of Arc Skills – an organisation committed to assisting learners acquire values, virtues, and skills that are necessary to succeed in the 21st Century.
Q1: Why is it important for children to have moral values?
If values are not taught to children, how will they know the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’? Values mould children which reflect in their character and spirituality. Developing moral values can help them build sustainable relationships in their personal and professional lives.
Values certainly help in eradicating problems such as dishonesty, violence, cheating, abuse, and jealousy from one’s life.
Q2: Why are moral values missing in schools?
According to published research, common reasons why Life Skills isn’t being taken seriously include:
- Teachers’ lack of understanding of the subject and whether they feel personally competent teaching (depending on where their expertise lies)
- How policy documents present the Life Skills subject
- Teachers’ varied understandings and interpretations of the Life Skills policy.
From anecdotal evidence, it would appear that in some schools, school management teams (SMTs) and teachers place little value on Life Orientation as a learning area. Life Orientation periods for each grade are distributed at the end of the timetabling process and allocated as fillers to provide an equitable workload for teachers. In some instances, Life Orientation periods are often viewed as ‘free periods’.
Q3: How are teachers affected by the lack of moral values in the classroom?
There is always the fear that learners will become violent. Bullying is on the rise and we’ve also seen a recent spike in the rate of violent attacks towards fellow learners and teachers.
The media frequently reports on suicides of learners who are bullied in the school system. Bullying includes repeated incidents of abuse, both in the flesh and online (or cyberbullying), and it has escalated become increasingly vicious over the years. Physical violence is escalating at a rapid rate annually too – both in and out of the classroom. In some instances of these violent attacks, it sadly even leads to the murder of learners and teachers.
In June 2019, the Gauteng Department of Education released the Education Roadmap 2019-2024. The MEC for Education, Mr Panyaza Lesufi, identified five strategic goals in this Roadmap. We believe that the third goal, which is “create safe schools that embody social cohesion, patriotism and non-violence to ensure social cohesion is present at schools as this will impact on the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom” requires urgent attention as it’s a testimony to the unsafe practices currently being experienced in South African schools.
Q4: What can a teacher do to improve their student’s moral values?
Teachers need to be more innovative teaching life skills values by making it more fun and unique. This is why Arc Skills has designed the SOAR Values Programme for both the foundation and intermediate phases. The SOAR Values programme is inclusive as the learning pathway is integrated into the CAPS curriculum and encompasses a variety of teaching methodology.
The SOAR Values Programme is based on behavioural psychology and developed by international pedagogical specialists. It prepares children for the globalised world and it utilises interactive technology, gamified learning, practical activities and thought-provoking reflection to excite and inspire students.
SOAR Values is a “plug and play” programme which requires MINIMAL PREPARATION but provides a MAXIMUM LEARNING IMPACT for students and their teachers!
SOAR Values Learning Methodology:
The programme gives teachers’ access to a complete online Teachers Guide, which includes resources that can be downloaded for learners to complete their express activities. The only requirements for implementing the SOAR Values programme in a classroom are an internet connection and a projector. Teachers also have access to the Master Trainer who will be available to address any queries.
Rated on SchoolAdvisor
Arc Skills has recently been listed on SchoolAdvisor and has already received 2 amazing reviews! These reviews, which can be viewed below, are of the SOAR Values Programme: To Improve Student’s Moral Values.
International Society for Technology in Education: Seal of Alignment (SOA)
This is a very prestigious award and we share the platform with the likes of Google, Microsoft and Adobe as well as pure-play EdTech companies. Only 14 other companies and 18 programmes have been recipients of this award globally in the student resources category.
If you are interested in finding out more about how your school can implement this Arc Skills Programme, leave your details with us and we’ll ask a friendly member of the Arc Skills team will be in touch.