Striving for equity: Life orientation resources in South African high schools
As a school subject, life orientation (LO) aims to improve learner well-being, but a lack of classroom resources may be a barrier. We investigated whether classroom resources were equally available for LO educators in fully funded (no-fee) and partially funded (fee-paying) high schools in Tshwane South, South Africa. In this analytical cross-sectional study, LO representatives completed questionnaires about the availability of resources in their schools. Sixty-seven LO representatives completed the questionnaire. No-fee and fee-paying schools had the same availability of government resources and textbooks, but no-fee schools had less access to audio-visual equipment and printed materials. Representatives from both categories of schools were least satisfied with the availability of resources for the topic: Health. In contrast, they thought that the resources for non-health related topics such as career and skills-development were adequate. Representatives from no-fee schools were less satisfied with physical education resources (U (56) = -2.29, p = 0.02). The government’s efforts to redress inequity is evident in the availability of basic resources. However, a lack of health resources is a source of concern in a society that has a quadruple burden of disease.
Keywords: equity; health education; life orientation; resources; school
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