Die sorgsame toesighoudingspraktyk van opvoeders in histories Afrikaanse sekondêre skole in die Potchefstroom- en Klerksdorpdistrikte
Schouwstra, Abraham Wester
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The applied practice of duty of care of the educator in historically Afrikaans medium secondary schools in the districts of Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp. When a parent sends his child to school the learner is entrusted to the care of educators, and the educator acts as a person in loco parentis regarding the physical protection of the learner. In order to ensure this safety of learners, it is necessary to create a climate of safety and security for them by utilizing rules and regulations. This implies that the educator, in the application of the practice of duty of care, is obliged to protect the learner from physical damage. The compulsion laid upon the educator to ensure the physical welfare of learners entrusted to his care, results from a delegated obligation (the in loco parent/s-position of the educator) and an original obligation. It is important for the educator to evaluate, comprehend and apply his position and the accompanying standard of the practice of duty of care legally required in the light of relevant legislation, legal adage and common law principles. Literature study has shown that the obligations and responsibilities regarding the duty of care of educators are established by a combination of determinants, inter alia statutory legislation, South African and International legal adage and elements of common law. There is no separate field of laws to exclusively determine and influence education but rather an eclectic field of legislation comprising norms and standards from the entire field of legislation as applicable in contemporary South Africa. With the accent currently on the professional conduct of the educator, they should keep in mind that they, like any other professional person, will be evaluated by stricter measures. In establishing negligence from an educator, the skills and care are expected from the educator as a professional person, an expert in the field of teaching with specialised knowledge. Thus, the conduct of an educator is measured by the elevated standards as expected from the reasonable expert. An empirical investigation was launched by means of a questionnaire completed by post level -1 educators and heads of department in historically Afrikaans secondary schools in the Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp districts. The aim of this research was to establish • the insight, perceptions and knowledge of the educators regarding key legal questions with reference to their care of duty practice and • the extent to which the duty of care practices of the educators meet with the requirements of educational law. The empirical investigation established inter alia that • respondents generally seem to possess reasonable knowledge of education laws regarding the practice of their duty of care; • most of the respondents seem not to be able to apply their knowledge of educational laws to their duty of care; • it seems that the practice of duty of care of the majority of the respondents does not meet with the elevated standards expected legally from a professional educator and that • specialised training in education law has the most significant effect on the practice of duty of care of the educator. With regard to the findings, specific recommendations were made, relevant to role players in education on macro, meso and micro level. These recommendations should promote a heightened standard in the practice of care of duty with practicing educators.
- Education