In South Africa, education has been taken as a key to success. In education, a learner needs support to be successful in their education. The country have millions of schools and it has been struggling to accommodate disadvantaged schools with the resources .The schools that are in disadvantaged areas do not get much attention when they deliver school resources. The department of education or the government does give much attention and this may be due to the post-apartheid and corruption (Sedibe, 2011). The schools end up not having good grades and it gets hard for teachers to teach without the Learner Teacher School Materials. The teaching and learning process is disturbed because of the lack of resources in disadvantaged South African Schools. The shortage of teachers and the unfavorable environment is another problem that the disadvantaged schools face regarding the lack of school resources. Critical theory is one of the philosophical perspectives that can solve the problem where it is a philosophy that involves the criticism against power structures and wants to liberate everybody from oppression. It involves being critical of the prevailing view of society where beliefs favors privileged people. Another perspective is existentialism that is a philosophy that emphasizes that an individual has to find their own meaning for their existence. People are unique in their own way no one should be told what they can or cannot do (Higgins, 2005). The expected performance from the leaners is not reached and the problem of inequality of access to school resources can be solved by relying on the knowledge of critical theory and existentialism.
According to Malik and Akhter (2013) existentialism in education focuses on the person; it allows a person to be aware of their individuality. It opposes the fact that man should be doing repeated scheduled work because it does not allow the selfness of a person to develop. The teacher in existentialism is only there to guide the students towards realizing their self-worth and abilities. The inequality of access to resources in disadvantaged South African schools according to existentialism shouldn’t be an issue because of the following reasons. Firstly in existentialism the teacher’s primary responsibility is to enable students in every way possible regardless of their situation. Learning shouldn’t be stopped because of resources; a learner can learn a lot from a teacher who is dedicated in making sure learners realize what they are capable of doing or becoming regardless of their environment or situation.
In existentialism learners are seen as individual and are allowed to be active in shaping their own education and life. A school should be a place where students are encouraged to use their minds to think and to do things themselves. They shouldn’t be dependent on material things like computers. In existentialism the best asset of the school is the teacher not resources. It is the teacher that makes students aware of their freedom and responsibility (Malik and Akhter, 2013). The teacher encourages learners to work hard in life and accept their situation so that they can be able to change it. Therefore existentialism can solve the problem of inequality of access to resources in disadvantaged South African schools by eliminating the mindset that learners can only succeed by having the best resources.
Critical theory is a social theory that focuses on critiquing and changing the society as a whole. According to Higgs and Smith (2015, 67), the famous version of critical theory is Marxism because Marxism wanted to abolish all inequalities of wealth and all social experiences. Critical theory can best solve the inequality of access to resources in disadvantaged schools in South Africa much better than the existentialism theory because of the following reasons.
Firstly critical theory has been said to be against inequality in all levels for privileged schools to get more attention from the government. The disadvantaged schools lack school resources to support learning and the facilities are ageing of which they are important for the school and on the expected pass rate of leaners. There are limited funding’s provided for new equipment and technology in disadvantaged schools while other schools receive all kinds of equipment’s. The lack of materials prevents leaners to reach their full potential that is why most learners from privileged schools often perform better in their studies. The CBC News (January 30, 2007) reported that a mother pulled her son from the local school system “out of frustration with what she said is a lack of teachers, educational assistants and other resources at the Frontier School Division.”. The teachers that are teaching in disadvantaged schools have been doing a good job because it is hard to teach in an unfavorable classroom that is overcrowded. The teachers do level their level best to make sure that learners grasp and understand the content and they also try to research more about the content they will have to deliver to the learners in class. Critical theory is avoiding oppression and wants to liberate everybody from oppression therefore the following interventions can be implemented. More teachers must be hired in order to off load the teacher that are struggling in schools. The government must not give other schools attention and try and pay attention to the schools in rural areas and try to deliver the necessary resources that can help the teaching and learning process to be easy. The government can introduce technology to the schools such as computers; this can help the education process better for the school. For the learners to be successful with their education, they must be supported and encouraged by the society.
In conclusion, the problem can be best solved by critical theory rather than existentialism which choose to just ignore the problem
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