Education must be pro-active in moral and redemptive teaching. It must teach respect for the dignity, as well as the fallibility of human nature and provide an understanding of the centrality of God.
It must also teach principled stewardship in developing our natural resources.
The ACDP firmly believes that education should be inspired by certain values as pronounced by God, which are applicable for the benefit of the individual and society.
It should also centre on the involvement of the family as the core unit in the educational framework.
The ACDP’s policy on education will focus on the building of character and the promotion of sound individual, family and civil values. This will be achieved through Value Based Education (VBE).
Value Based Education (VBE)
This system teaches respect for the basic humanity of all persons. It centres on principled stewardship and equity in developing and utilising the natural resources we are endowed with as a nation.
VBE aims to nurture the individual in the areas of character, charity, capacity and community.
It is based on a system with the aim of enabling the leaner to achieve inquiring and interpretative abilities, critical assessment skills, knowledge and application skills and social values.
VBE does not intend to create a new system of education, but will co-ordinate existing educational models that develop the learner’s capacity in ways that advance the principle within value based education.
VBE will be organised within a management framework to achieve an education for all, steered by an equity-driven education process.
The VBE approach places the responsibility of the learner at the centre of all learning and knowledge.
This process aims at addressing inequalities within the system, which have been inherited from the past.
A programme will be followed that will allow:
- retraining of under trained teachers;
- renewed discipline and commitment from teachers;
- greater accountability from both teachers and administrators;
- increased productivity and output from teachers and administrators;
- greater discipline and commitment from pupils;
- we will allocate more funding to schools that are severely under-resourced;
- the physical conditions of disadvantaged schools will be addressed;
- removal of all negative influences within schools such as:
- the carrying of weapons, including guns, knives, etc;
- the abuse of addictive substances, including drugs, alcohol, etc; and
- criminal and disruptive activity.
Provincial autonomy over education, within a national framework of equity, will be vital for educational progress.
Equity driven education is a medium to long term objective initiated by National, Provincial and Local government, and other interested stakeholders.
It does not aim to weaken already existing or traditional forms of educational infrastructures. It will in fact ensure that all educational interests will be protected, as well as provide for growth in educational capacity of all South Africans.
Lifelong education also falls within this framework. To redress the effect of lack of education and its impact on individuals, a vigorous adult education programme will be implemented.
An ACDP government would ensure that education remains a vibrant field for intellectual development.
Early childhood development
The ACDP believes that early childhood development must comprise a holistic system that addresses the complete needs of a young individual.
Such a system involves all sectors needed for the creative, intellectual, physical and spiritual development of a child.
The ACDP focus on early childhood development is centred on three primary factors which are necessary for a child’s sustainable and effective development:
a) A sustainable nutritional programme
The importance of proper and sustainable nutrition for children at an early learning stage is one of our primary objectives in early childhood development.
b) A multilateral approach
The ACDP believes that early childhood development is primarily linked to the first level of the social strata, which is the family.
We are of the opinion that early childhood development should be tackled on at least three fronts for pre-school development:
- State assisted funding
- Business and NGO involvement
- Home schooling
The ACDP will therefore encourage parental involvement in all education and promote alternative education such as:
- Home schooling;
- Private Christian Schooling; and
- Other cultural schooling.
Parental involvement must also be encouraged and promoted in State schools as this allows for improved student academic achievement, attendance, student behaviour and increased community support for schools, including human, financial and material resources.
Parental involvement can take the form of co-operation, participation and partnership.
c) Constitutional protection
We believe that a child should enjoy constitutional protection.
Children should have access to full constitutional privileges that protect them from any criminal acts of violence and abuse. Currently in practise these rights are often not accessible to the child.
This will be changed through such institutions as The Children’s Commissioner.
The Constitution must also aim to promote the security, safety and stable development of a child.
The ACDP will investigate a ‘Coupon System’. This system entails government providing a coupon, of an identical cost of education to each child. This will enable parents to choose where to send their children to school. If they wish their children to go to a school which charges above the coupon rate, then they will have to pay the difference.
This enables parents to truly exercise a choice in their children’s education.
This system ensures that everyone will be able to access the best education available, with the widest choice of schooling possible.
The ACDP recognises the establishment of a co-ordinated higher education system, based on equal access and non-discrimination. This function is to be co-ordinated by the Council of Higher Education who will enjoy decentralised mandates from their respective provinces.
We also recognise that pursuing excellence and promoting the full realisation of the potential of every student and employee are great ideals in education.
Although we agree that the state has responsibility to ensure that education is enjoyed by all, to vest that authority predominantly, if not exclusively under the control of the Council of Higher Education goes against the respect for Provincial competence.
We believe that education is a federal issue and the strong centralised control of higher education would lead to dissatisfaction.
Further education and training
The ACDP supports a policy on Further Education and Training.
We believe it will make a significant difference to the lives of those who have not been fortunate enough to complete their education.
Further Education and Training fills a certain niche within our educational system, and we should aim to avoid as much as possible the need to stifle the type of educational service this sector provides.