Die kwaliteit–gelykheid–dilemma van die skool
De Villiers, Johanna Helena
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The literature survey has indicated that a quality-equality dilemma is a world-wide phenomenon in schools. The need for this research is therefore made clear unequivocally. The problems with regard to this dilemma centre mainly on equal opportunities versus socio-economic class and meritocracy in terms of status, power and economic remuneration. A dilemma or problem comes into being when an attempt is made to establish a school and scholastic processes and activities which attempt to reconcile the insistence on equality with the insistence on quality in a stratified community. Dominant socio-economic groups and cultures insist on the conservation of quality in their schools. The peripheral sub-cultures and the other (lower) socio-economic groups insist on equality in schools in order to evade the stratification into socioeconomic classes and the selection for privileging which the dominant class (could) effect(s) by means of separate schools and an (ostensible) hegemonic curriculum. In this research an attempt was made, firstly, to draw a profile of the fundamental problems related to the quality-equality dilemma of the school; to analyse this dilemma and to evaluate it in fundamental educational terms by means of phenomenal analysis and the problem-historical method. In the second place the problems regarding the phenomena dominant culture; peripheral and sub-cultures; socio-economic class; the demands and counter-demands for equality, excellence, meritocracy and social mobility in an unequal society, were studied and evaluated. The philosophical bases of the present reform movements in the school; the problems underlying the effort to define quality in the school and its processes and activities; some models in this regard; the relative value of quality and the idea of equality were also investigated. In the third place the question of community-based and supported education; community education: the issues of pluralism and individualism in a multi-cultural community; reasons for the coming into existence of educational alternatives; compensating and supporting and enriching programmes and alternative schools, as well as some school models and examples of such schools were examined and evaluated. The study was done throughout by means of a literature survey. The evaluation was done by means of the philosophical method of reflection and description. Finally, by means of the transcendental-critical and structure-empirical methods, a critical evaluation and Scriptural justification were done with regard to the philosophical bases of the school (viz. the societal-theoretical, the child-theoretical and the school-theoretical) and the points of departure underlying these. In this search, it was found that the reforms instituted by the school to try to solve the dilemma of quality as opposed to equality have been only partially successful and have often given rise to new problems. It has also crystallized out clearly that the problems concerning the quality-equality dilemma of the school are the results of secular school-theoretical, societal theoretical and child-theoretical vision. It was found that the child is hijacked by various interest groups to promote particular socio-economic group and individual interests. The special task for which God has ordained the school is disregarded. The secular view and application of the school as an instrument of division and alienation in the community have created a discrepancy in which the school and the community have come to confront each other in an insoluble antithesis. The insistence on equality on the one hand and quality in the school on the other hand leads to schism and division and causes an antithesis in schools and education. For the Christian the solution for the quality-equality dilemma is situated in the guiding force of the Christian culture motif which binds the quality-equality antithesis of the school into a synthesis. The diversity in human society finds unity in God when man's cultural mandate has as its Leitmotif service to God and man. The essence of the Christian cultural mandate lies in opening up and stewarding; building and conserving. The school's primary task is the development of the child's logical modality so that he can fulfil his task as steward in creation in Christian responsibility to God and fellowman. School education involves cultural transfer and is normative in nature. The school must therefore keep account of qualitative differences between groups and individuals in the community. This necessitates differentiated schools and compensatory, supportive and enriching educational programmes in schools. In order to be able to accommodate the variety of groupings in the community, differentiated schools are necessary, but privileging, exploitation and discrimination are against the will of God. Thus contact across social and cultural barriers must be effected in loving community and sharing within the intellectual community. Everybody who is involved with the school should make his inputs, and apply his talents to the advantage of all in the community - reckoning also with the interdependence on each other within a differentiated community. Technique and technology seem to be among the most powerful aids through which the quality-equality dilemma of the school can be addressed, especially in the midst of decreasing financial resources and the increasing demands of manpower needs. Care has to be taken, however, that the child (and the teacher) does not become a slave of machines but a controller and a user of machines for the fulfilment of his task as mandate holder in God's creation. The conclusion arrived at in this research is that the quality-equality dilemma in school education will only be resolved when the school can again justify itself with regard to the Christian demand of what is anthropologically fitting and decent. This demands that each child, in security and in sensitivity for the normative demands of the own community, should receive the opportunity to develop optimally and on the basis of equal opportunity into that individual which God had intended him to be. Each child has to be equipped optimally for the execution of his God-given task, viz. to take himself and creation to their final destiny in God. It is therefore essential that, apart from conventional schools, alternative schools and alternative, supportive and enriching educational programmes should be established in all countries wishing to avoid the quality-equality dilemma of the school.
- Education