Gym staff are com­pe­tent and caring

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - A loyal mem­ber of the gym Leo Tut­tel­berg

I’M SHOCKED by the at­ti­tude of the “trau­ma­tised” Cho­han-Gani fam­ily be­cause of the close drown­ing of their 3-year-old child at the Vir­gin Ac­tive pool.

They say they looked away for a mo­ment. That should not have caused the near drown­ing.

I have been with Vir­gin Ac­tive since they have been in South Africa, and find that par­ents al­low tiny tots and slightly older chil­dren to swim in the pools unat­tended or while the par­ent is en­grossed in a book, their cell­phone or their tablet.

The chil­dren are not be­ing watched as care­fully as they should be.

There are signs all over the place say­ing that chil­dren un­der age 14 can­not swim with­out adult su­per­vi­sion. Adult su­per­vi­sion means over 18 and to watch the child con­tin­u­ally, es­pe­cially a 3-year-old.

You can­not ex­pect the staff to be watch­ing the pools all the time. In any event, the pools are mainly for train­ing – if you want to use them as recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, then the full re­spon­si­bil­ity is on the par­ents.

Don’t pass the guilt on to the gym staff who are highly com­pe­tent and caring at all times, in all the years I have at­tended.

In fact, on Jan­uary 2, there was a med­i­cal emer­gency at the Rand­burg gym.

The staff stayed with the mem­ber and called over the in­ter­com for med­i­cal as­sis­tance. Shortly af­ter that, the paramedics ar­rived. There was no short­age of as­sis­tance from staff in any way.

Thank good­ness this lit­tle child came to no harm, but it was not due to the in­com­pe­tence of Vir­gin Ac­tive! Hurling­ham Manor THE MA­TRIC re­sults an­nounce­ment (on Wed­nes­day) by Angie Mot­shekga was again an ab­so­lute em­bar­rass­ment.

Thou­sands of pupils have done bril­liantly and they are to be con­grat­u­lated on their achieve­ments.

How­ever, we now bring in Umalusi whose sole pur­pose is to fudge the stats to make the ANC look good. They call it “stan­dard­i­s­a­tion”.

This year they “stan­dard­ised” 29 sub­jects up and four down.

As an ex­am­ple they may take a pupil who gets 28 per­cent and add 20per­cent to give him 48per­cent, which is not a bad mark.

How­ever, this is still the same pupil who has failed hope­lessly.

Ac­cord­ing to Mary Met­calfe,“stan­dard­i­s­a­tion” is not po­lit­i­cal (that’s rich com­ing from some­body who has been an ANC mem­ber for years).

She says it is a stan­dard way of en­sur­ing that all pupils get a fair chance to pass!

We now ap­ply the “pro­gres­sion” prin­ci­ple where pupils who have failed twice are au­to­mat­i­cally pro­moted to get them out of the sys­tem. Mot­shekga said those stu­dents got some help; she did not say we just give them the marks to pass.

They go into a class where most of the pupils have got there on merit.

This is an ab­so­lute night­mare for a teacher teach­ing pupils who got 28per­cent and oth­ers who got gen­uine pass marks.

Mot­shekga ad­mit­ted it’s a prob­lem, but who cares!

I have lis­tened to the head of Umalusi and its spokesper­son and it is patently ob­vi­ous that they are po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ments and not pro­fes­sional ed­u­ca­tion­ists.

I sug­gest that its R19 mil­lion bud­get (2014 fig­ure) be used for teacher train­ing.

What chance do pupils have of pass­ing when so many teach­ers are in­ad­e­quately trained? Ber­ario

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