The impact of a teacher towards a student’s success is undeniably a huge one, given that they are the ones that impart knowledge and assess performance.
However, there are other factors that come into play such as the environment, welfare of students and their households among others. These too can have a sound effect on how students turn out to perform.
Therefore, should teachers bear the brunt of how students perform?
Cedric Ngabo, a student, says that it’s time to change this educational paradigm before there is no one left in the classroom.
He says that this is something that most parents overlook noting that they should understand that teachers do not carry the full weight or blame once their children don’t perform to expectations.
He suggests that they should perceive learning as a collaborative effort from both teachers and parents because this would be an incentive to ensure that no side takes the blame.
Expedito Jumba, director of Math and Physics department at Nu-Vision High School, points out that it is good for teachers to be held accountable and that no teacher should disagree with that.
“Accountability is a good practise for all teachers in the country. And I don’t think there is any educator who would not be willing to be assessed in a way that they are responsible for their work provided all schools want to be their best. But there must be options on how this can be done,” Jumba says.
On this note, he calls onto school leaders and teachers to ensure success otherwise the blame for students not performing to the standards will fall on them.
Levis Karangwa, a teacher as well echoes a similar view urging teachers to be the sole party, responsible for students’ success.
He explains that if they don’t, this in the long run will create a “take-no-risks” attitude that becomes preserved in the culture of leadership within a school.
“School growth in terms of improvement is seen as school inspection. And this is made by the act of weighing. When gains are not made, the problem lies within the school, leader or teacher, rather blaming other factors such as culture, climate or other conditions,” he says.
Is there another way?
Jumba however reiterates saying that a school’s development should not be centred on inspection, but rather professional collaboration.
He shares his opinion saying that all parties can come together to discuss and devise means for their students to excel. These, he says include design tutoring, engage in action research, and regularly perform activities such as learning and creating lesson plans.
Karangwa adds that everyone understands that growing great educators involves moments of brilliance and moments of chaos.
If teachers have autonomy and are entrusted to make decisions concerning their classroom setting, such systems and schools will consistently achieve top results, he says.
This means that for teachers to be the sole bearer of this, they need to be equipped with all the required resources to ensure students’ success.