Die sosiopedagogiese taak van die Kinderwetskool
Van Rooyen, Elias Albertus
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I. Introduction - The task of the school under the Children's Act is more comprehensive than that of the normal school. Apart from giving academic instruction, the school under the Children's Act provides physical care and attends to the socialization of the child. In many cases it is necessary to resocialise because the socialization process at home takes place inadequately and unsatisfactorily. The school must prepare the child in his totality so that after his school career, he may fit into society in the broadest sense. In other words, the school under the Children's Act has, apart from providing academic instruction, an important socio-pedagogic task with regard to the deprived child placed in its care for further education. 2. Definition of Problem - The problem examined in this investigation can be, formulated by means of two questions, namely: * Does the school under the Children's Act make a positive contribution to the socio-pedagogic development of the committed child? * Is the child, who leaves the said school after a comparatively long stay, better equipped for society than the child who under the same circumstances, was not committed? 3. Aims - This research aims: * to investigate and explain on an international scale the task of the school under the Children's Act, on the basis of existing literature; * to determine scientifically by means of objective testing, and retesting after one year, whether the school under the Children's Ad in South Africa, is contributing positively to the socialization of the committed child in its care. 4. Method of Investigation - Firstly, use was made of the method of a study of literature pertaining to this subject. A study was made of international as well as South African sources dealing with schools under the Children's Act and other associated subjects, such as the growth and development of these schools in South Africa, problems with regard to the socialization of the child under the Children's Act; the needs of the pedagogically neglected adolescent in the schools under the Act, and the socio-pedagogical aspect of education in these schools. Relevant factual material has been collected, arranged and annotated. Secondly, an empirical investigation limited to white, deprived children in seventeen of the eighteen schools under the Department of National Education has been undertaken. As test subjects, all pupils who were admitted between 15 November 1981 and 15 February 1982 to these schools, have been used. A battery of tests consisting of the Picture Motivation Test, the Interpersonal Relations Questionnaire and the IPAT Anxiety Scale, which are all standardised tests of the Human Sciences Research Council, have been used. Furthermore, a questionnaire (see Appendage B) has been used to acquire first hand factual material from the schools involved. Using the above-mentioned tests, pupils were tested on IS February 1982 and again 15 November of the same year in order to obtain comparative details. After the conclusion of the empirical investigation, the data was analysed and reviewed on the basis of facts from existing literature and personal criteria. The empirical details were statistically revised by the Statistic Consultation Service of the Potchefstroom University with the aid of a standard computer. With regard to the Picture Motivation Test and the Interpersonal Relations Questionnaire, the raw marks of each factor of the tests were converted to stanines, and of the IPAT Anxiety Scale into stens as the norm tables of the said tests provides respectively for stanines and stens. The same procedure was followed with the retesting so as to obtain comparative details. A difference of one on the stanine and sten scales was, for the aim of this study, considered significant when drawing conclusions. Differences on the stanine scale with regard to testing and retesting was, with the aid of the computer, obtained for each subtest of the Picture Motivation Test and the Interpersonal Relations Questionnaire. Similarly, differences on the sten scale for the !PAT Anxiety Scale were obtained. 5. Program of Investigation - The details obtained from existing literature as well as the results of the empirical investigation have been presented in chapter form. An explanation of the method of investigation followed during the research, is given in chapter one. In chapter six the method of research into the empirical investigation is given in detail. Chapter two contains an historical survey of the growth and development of schools under the Children's Act in South Africa since 1909. An explanation of problems concerning the socio-pedagogical development of the child before and after committal receives attention in chapter three, while the unique needs of the adolescent are discussed in chapter four. Chapter five deals with the school under the Children's Act as a socio-pedagogical maintenance institution. The academic as well as the extra-curricular program receives attention, and aspects which can contribute positively to the socialization of the child in need of care are suggested. In chapter seven the results of the empirical investigation arc given in table form with concise explanations of each table. 6. Growth and development of schools under the Children's Act since 1909 - The first school under the Children's Act (formerly called the industrial school) was established seventy-five years ago in Standerton. Originally it was little more than a haven for neglected and delinquent youths. The school was started in 1909 in an old military barracks used during the Anglo-Boer War and had an enrolment of six boys and one girl. Until 1917, schools under the Children's Act were administered by the Prisons Department. Discipline was very strict and there was little or no education as such. The Child Protection Act of 1937 contributed immensely towards improving the educational aspect of these schools. By 1917, when the administration of the schools was transferred to the Union Education Department, altogether four schools had been established. With an education department in control, the emphasis on education increased and decreased on discipline. The Children's Act of 1937 which was an outcome of the Inter-departmental Committee ( 1934-1937) introduced an entirely new approach to the education of the child in need of care. In 1946 psychological services were introduced into schools under the Children's Act. This was the beginning of psychological therapeutic services. After 1917 another fourteen schools, distributed throughout the four provinces, were built so that altogether there are to date eighteen schools under the Children's Act. Development with regard to improved syllabi, differentiated education, psychological services, special courses and specialised directions which, during the last decade, followed quickly on each other, have to-day made the school under the Children's Act an adequate and modern educational institution which aims at educating in total the child in need of care. 7. Problems in connection with socialization before and after committal - Socialization is the process whereby individuals learn to become viable members of the social group in which they move. It commences at birth and continues throughout a lifetime. The significance of the christian family as the unit of society cannot be overemphasized. The functions of the family with regard to socializing the child is essential in all socialization activities and educational functions of the school, the church and society in general. If these functions of the family are neglected, long-term damage will emerge later in the child's life. Values and norms acquired within the family relationship, later serve as guidelines for the child's behaviour and as a foundation for forming his own attitude to life which, as a young adult, will affect his adaption to society. There are various shortcomings in the family life and behaviour tendencies of the parents of children in need of care, which manifest themselves before committal and which later adversely influence the child's socialization in the school under the Children's Act. These are factors like the disintegration of the Family bonds, church estrangement, misuse of alcohol by the parents, broken homes, child neglect and an increasingly permissive society. The latter is strongly influenced by communism and liberalism. After admission to the school under the Children's Act, factors such as absconding, the smoking habit, separate schools for boys and girls, homosexual tendencies and early marriages among girls hinder both the process of resocialization of the pupil as well as the therapeutic program of the school in general. 8. The adolescent and his needs - Most pupils in schools under the Children's Act are adolescent as pupils under the age of twelve and over the age of eighteen are seldom admitted to the school. Adolescence is a period of important psychological changes in the life of a young person. It is often referred to as the period of emotional upheaval, as a result of unusual emotional instability so characteristic of this phase. Basically, the adolescent experiences the same needs as the young child, but because of his advanced intellectual capabilities, his physical maturity and his erratic behaviour he experiences these needs problematically. Social needs such as affiliation, acceptance, recognition, independence, a sense of responsibility and identification are of special importance to the adolescent, because it is during this period that he must find his niche among his equals as well as in society in general. Emotionally, the adolescent experiences intense needs which go hand in hand with emotional tension and anxiety while at the same time frustration, conflict and aggression further affect his adjustment. At a moral level, the adolescent must learn to adjust to the values and norms of society; his conscience asserts itself and guilt feelings serve as punishment when he reacts contrarily to the accepted norms. During adolescence, the young person strives to establish a self-identity and to develop a self-image while at the same time experiencing mental conflict and confusion. In conclusion, it is during this phase of his life that the adolescent begins to view critically the religious principles and faith which he as a child accepted without question. Especially when he communicates with friends who hold other religious values does he experience serious doubts and starts to search assiduously for truth and spiritual security. 9. The school under the Children's Act as socio-pedagogic institution As all pupils who are being educated in schools under the Children's Act are institution-bound, and arc physically cared for by the school (State), the school can be regarded as a complete community in miniature. It is the task of the school as a fully responsible maintenance institution to build a socializing bridge for the child between the parental home with a poor educational background, and the general community after school. The headmaster with his comprehensive task, teaching staff, administrative and hostel staff, form a heterogeneous team with a common aim, namely taking care of and educating the deprived child, and administering the school adequately. The ultimate aim of the school is to restore a deprived child in need of care to the community as a well-cared for, socially-adapted and morally-equipped youth. What the school offers, both intra-murally and extra-murally, is focussed on the socio-pedagogically deprived child's social independence after school. Great emphasis is placed on organised after-hour programs in sport, cultural activity and invigorating recreation as part of socio-pedagogical education. It is of extreme significance that this child should not only become involved in the affairs of the community, but also render service to it - this forms an integrate part of the eventual goal the school wishes to achieve. 10. Results of the Empirical Research Calculated by the Picture Motivation Test, the school under the Children's Act shows a success figure of 49,2% in the case of boys, and 51,8% for girls (compare table 7.12). According to the synopsis (table 7.35) the success figure of the school calculated by means of the Interpersonal Relations Questionnaire, is 53,5% for boys and 55% for girls. The IPAT Anxiety Level Scale shows that the school was well able to lower the general level of anxiety within one year in 74,8% boys and 73,7% girls. The negative percentage with regard to the IPAT Anxiety Level Scale was noticeably low, namely 8,1% in boys and 4,2% in girls. The over-all result of the test exercise shows that schools under the Children's Act have a success figure of 59,7% for boys and 60,1% for girls (see table 7.44). The significant similarity in all the readings of boys and girls is quite noteworthy. There is a difference of 2,7% in the negative, 1.8% in the neutral and 0,9% in the positive score of boys and girls. If the average score for the test group can be calculated in its entirety, the negative count is 20,4%, the neutral count 20% and the positive count 59,7%. The last figure percentage can therefore be regarded as the success figure of the school under the Children's Act, as determined by this research. This is in agreement with the general expectation of the heads of schools under the Children's Act and officials of the Department of National Education, as was established in interviews with those persons mentioned. (Sec end of list of sources).
- Education