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Preparing Learners for the Future

Education professionals should never underestimate the significance of life orientation and the role the latter could play in shaping the learners’ future

Preparing Learners for the Future

It came to me as a big surprise that many South African education professionals seem to regard Life Orientation as an insignificant, to some even a worthless part of our education. 

Many learners also seem to view life orientation as unnecessary, boring and irrelevant.

This attitude is not unique to South Africa; a British study showed that more than three-quarters of schools were failing to provide sufficient guidance (life orientation and study- and career development) to pupils in the last few years of secondary education.

Life orientation is aimed at developing and engaging learners in personal, psychological, neuro-cognitive, motor, physical, moral, spiritual, cultural and socio-economic areas, so that they can achieve their full potential in the new democracy of South Africa (Department of Education, 2002; 2003:9).

This learning area is furthermore intended to promote social justice, human rights, and inclusiveness, as well as a healthy environment (Department of Education, 2003b:5).

These are worthy educational goals and define in exact terms the gravity of the subject in question. Life Orientation, though not an academic subject, constitutes the glue that binds much of our education, and for that matter, the rest of our life together.

The question at heart is not whether life orientation is a worthy subject, but it is rather a challenge to ourselves to find its appropriate space in our education.

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