At a recent principals’ meeting it was decided that there was a need to resurrect the character transformation programme in all pre-primary, primary and high schools in Amanzimtoti.
While all local primary school sent representatives to the first training session in 2008, some implemented the programme more enthusiastically than others. Now all 12 Toti schools have come on board to re-introduce the programme.
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The programme was successfully implemented in Athlone Park Primary School (APPS) from 2009 to 2011 and acting principal, John Vorster said they noticed the lasting effects while those children were at primary and high school.
“The result is a culture change in our schools,” said Vorster. “It’s character education that works with your needs and pre-existing programmes. Our local schools’ administrators, principals and teachers have found character transformation significantly improves the way children interact with adults.
Research on values education shows dramatically reduced behaviour problems, reduced absenteeism and increased test scores. Children learn a consistent set of universal values and teachers model those values, behaviour improves and educational focus soars.”
When you bring character transformation into a classroom, you use the six pillars of character in your existing curriculum and classroom management to make focusing on good character part of everything you do. Children focus on the rewards of character instead of punishments.
The six pillars of character are: Trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship. “When a school lives by values, there are huge positive results,” said Vorster. “A climate of consideration, co-operation and acceptance of others helps to reduce bullying.
Where there’s self-respect, there’s a rejection of binge drinking, taking drugs and teenage pregnancies. Where diligence, focus and perseverance are personal character traits, the end results are excellent achievements both in and outside the classroom.
If friendliness, kindness and helpfulness are the way in which everyone interacts, the school will be a happier place.
A sad reality is that we live in a morally-decaying society and many children aren’t taught acceptable values in the home. Values education has therefore become an extra task for schools and teachers.”
The six pillars of the programme will be rolled out in all the schools as follows:
- Term 3 of 2017 – Respect;
- Term 4 of 2017 – Caring;
- Term 1 of 2018 – Responsibility;
- Term 2 of 2018 – Fairness;
- Term 3 of 2018 – Good citizenship;
- Term 4 of 2018 – Trustworthiness.
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