Friday, February 20, 2015
When OBE was introduced in the year 2000, Life Orientation was one of the new subjects added to the curriculum. Life Orientation focused on general life skills amongst other things. However, it was not always easy for teachers especially as others were not as comfortable and knowledgeable as the subject required. Internet was not easily accessible at the time, researching on various topics including sex weren't easy for teachers and us. They managed to teach whatever they knew but for projects we relied mainly on our older siblings who weren't always available to help.
As expected, parents debated its importance and the debate soon caught the attention of those in power. Parents wouldn’t approve as they felt some of the lessons were not suitable for us. Nonetheless, teachers encouraged us to participate actively, but at times learning was hard. At home, you were encouraged and expected to look down when addressed by elders whereas teachers disagreed ( I mean the Life Orientation learner guide). And career guidance was also received with mixed reactions as no one at the time knew what they wanted to do, I mean, who would know what they would like to do in Grade 7?
Whether Life Orientation worked or not, is debatable. Majority of people argue that the subject might have been developed from a good place but was not implemented effectively from the start. Life Orientation’s objectives were not imparted in a correct manner to the major player in the game; teacher. The education department might have had their hands in too many places at the time that they thought everyone was on the same page regarding the subject, they argued.
Life Orientation lessons might have been long and boring sometimes, but other learners took what they learned to heart. I think these learners should be commended. School is a place of learning; unfortunately not every learner will understand that, instead focus on activities that end up destroying what could have been a great future. Life Orientation helped greatly in creating that understanding.
Fast forward to 2015, Life Orientation evolved as a subject. With its focus mainly on a leaner’s holistic development, Life Orientation is tackling important issues faced every day by learners with ease while imparting knowledge that extends beyond the school’s curriculum, this is a fact. Learning is a journey; various aspects of that journey will eventually help you arrive at your desired destination as a learner.