What did the teachers have to say about…

…about the purpose of schooling?

❝I think schooling is very, very important because it is a transformation…socially, mentally and in all areas.❞

❝I would say that schooling is important, the main reason why is just to separate those that have the western education from those that have other types of learning.❞

❝Schooling is very important…it is only in school you can meet your peer group.❞

❝You might not know the heights of what you are made of, your potential. You might not really know it. But, when you come to school, the teacher will say you can do it.❞

…about assessment for learning?

❝In the days when we went to the school and you have a zero, we will sing for you and clap. “Zero zero, zero.” And the teacher would even draw your ears, your nose in the zero. That would have been demoralising to a child.❞

❝No child can be written off. No child is uneducable, as an educationalist. So you try to find a way of unlocking that potential in a child.❞

❝For me, I think grading is a way of motivating students… it’s a way of motivating the student and those that are left behind, they also want to strive towards achieving their best.❞

❝If we do not have a grading system put in place, how do you keep the records…to fall back to to defend yourself, based on individual child and the class as a body?❞

❝Some students, even if you don’t tell them their grade, within me, within that child, if the child didn’t do well, that child will know. Whatever way you try to keep away the grades from them, you don’t allow them to see the grade, they know when they’ve done bad.❞

❝At the end of the day, [if] there is no grade, there is no parameter to use for you to know who is progressing and who is not progressing.❞

❝I would prefer a gradeless class to a class where you use grades. Because I know out of experience that grades demoralise students… When you grade their work and they get so…tense… ‘see my score, see my score’. You can see them get demoralised. Even if you go and convince them, you can’t stop what is going on in their minds.❞

❝I prefer a gradeless class because actually it’s a way of talking back, giving them feedback, without the marks, without numbers… “‘I’ll show you your strengths and I’ll show you your weaknesses.”❞

❝The grades matter, they demoralise a child. If a child is getting 10, 15 and so on, he or she will feel bad for at least a day, and that’s…affected them lots, probably in other classes, in other subjects.❞

❝At the end of it, what goes to the student should be the feedback.❞

…about wellbeing in schools?

❝If a child is not happy coming to school the child cannot be at his or her best. It is not possible.❞

❝The bible says, happiness, when somebody is happy, it makes the boat fast. The soul drive the boat. The same thing happen in education. When a student is happy then the student can assimilate anything.❞

❝For students to be happy in school, they must be carried along, even in class, the teacher that is autocratic cannot enhance the happiness of the students.❞

…about democratic education?

❝We, as an adult, we know how to fine tune their needs.❞

❝In terms of experience we’re above them. In terms of education, we’re above them… We gather so much experiences and we must use it to better their life. That is why they are children, and we are the teacher.❞

❝As a school, we have to put things in place that at least will satisfy the majority of the students, while maintaining the standard of the school. Because, if we are to consider student A opinions, student B opinions, at the end of it we will not have anything.❞

❝A school should have rules and regulations… How do you want to guide a child when you don’t have rules and regulations put in place?❞

❝You cannot separate education from culture. You see, every society has a culture and [democratic education] cannot work in Africa.❞

…about their perfect school?

❝I believe for a school to be effective, there is a need for … effective communication. Whatever you want to do, even in relation to the welfare of the students, whatever you want to do you must carry them along.❞

❝I would make sure the environment was suitable for learning for the age range that is coming to learn.❞

❝I would make sure they have quality teachers because it is the quality of education that has been given to the stakeholders.❞