Security in the workplace of the foundation phase educator : an education law perspective
Keating, Jeannine Bridget
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The physical and psychological security of the Foundation Phase educator is currently a cause for concern. This situation is problematic, in that well–qualified and experienced educators will leave the profession if their security is compromised. In addition, prospective students will be reluctant to enter the profession as Foundation Phase educators if there is a possibility of insecurity in their future workplace. The aim of this research is therefore to investigate and establish the factors, both employment related as well as learner related, that contribute to this phenomenon. This inquiry was done from an Education Law perspective to establish what protection these educators are entitled to in terms of labour and education legislation. Utilising a qualitative research design, a variety of findings and the related implications were established. The most important labour related findings are that, in spite of the well–developed legal framework in South African law, the rights of the educator are perceived to be of secondary importance compared to those of the learners and also that the constant changes, for example in education policies, lead to insecurity. In terms of learner and parent related findings, it is evident that the lack of learner discipline, which can be partly attributed to a lack of parental involvement, contributes to declining educator security. The workplace related findings reflect the teacher– learner ratio as being problematic. In addition, the lack of resources in some schools, as well as a classroom environment that is not conducive to effective teaching and the educators' workload all impact on educator insecurity. It is imperative that the recommendations made should be attended to, in order to minimize Foundation Phase educator insecurity. This must be done to the benefit of both the educators and the learners, who are entitled to quality education.
- Education