Promoting Positive Behaviour in our schools!
The Western Cape Education Department hosted the annual Positive Behaviour Day on 17 May 2023, at the Positive Behaviour Intervention and Resource Centre (PBIRC) in Wynberg.
Learner discipline in schools has been a challenge since the return of learners to school full-time after Covid-19. In 2022, 410 incidents of fighting between learners were reported at schools and 158 in the first quarter of this year.
The WCED Positive Behaviour Programme is at the forefront of various initiatives to address this rise in anti-social behaviour.
The strategy promotes positive and restorative behaviour in our schools, addressing bullying and abuse and to find solutions for healing.
It is aimed at creating caring school cultures through educator capacity building, learner and parent intervention programmes, as well as awareness programmes.
Every district has a positive behaviour support programme which capacitates our teachers in dealing with disruptive behaviours in the classroom, and other strategies such as:
- Knowing your rights and responsibilities, based on the Labour Relations Act and Employment of Educators’ Act for all newly appointed educators as part of their Induction, but also for serving educators.
- Programmes on Alternatives to Corporal Punishment
- Relevant Psycho-social programmes to create resilience amongst educators to find alternative solutions to corporal punishment, like the Positive behaviour programme.
Positive behaviour programmes, address aspects such as:
- Behaviour as a barrier to learning
- Trauma Informed Schools
- Anti-bullying/Anti-violence programmes / Peace education / Creating caring schools
- Restorative Discipline (Restorative justice)
- The vulnerability of boys (focus on boys)
- Circle of Courage
- Caring programmes for teachers.
- Prevention of Gender-Based Violence
- Substance Abuse prevention
Programmes to improve wellness, awareness, self-appreciation and leadership development include:
- Integrated holiday programmes
- After-school activities
- Cleaning-up campaign
- Back-to-school drives
- Debating teams
- Youth Camps
- Leadership Development
- Life Skills Programmes
Yesterday’s event was attended by learners from neighboring schools, as well as teachers, education psychologists and social workers.
Neville Goliath, Progamme Manager, said that the Positive Behaviour programme puts the spotlight on the goodness of humanity found in the acquisition of values through real connections that build relationships.
“The programme introduces ways to deal with behaviour differently instead of responding from a punitive framework. Teachers are encouraged to respond from a restorative and strength-based perspective.”
WCED district psycho-social support teams provide training and workshops within our schools to help teachers deal with stressful classroom situations and manage problem behaviour. Requests for support are made by schools through the department’s support pathway. Online resources are also available to provide guidance and tips for teachers to use in the classroom.