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JURGENS, Coenraad; SMIT, Marius  and  VAN DER WALT, Johannes. Geborgenheid en opvoedende onderrig in Meganiese Tegnologie-werkswinkels by openbare skole. Koers (Online) [online]. 2019, vol.84, n.1, pp.1-14. ISSN 2304-8557.

South Africa has both a shortage and an urgent need for qualified people with technical and mechanical skills. In order to meet this need, the teaching of technical subjects at public schools should be promoted and improved. A key aspect of teaching technical subjects in schools is to ensure the safety of all learners in technical workshops. The theory of Geborgenheit (safety, wellness, wellbeing) in education entails the notion that effective teaching and learning is enhanced if the places of learning are safe and secure. School workshops should be secure and safe spaces for learners in order for effective teaching and learning to occur. Although the state may be held liable if harm is caused in a negligent or culpable manner to a person in a school workshop, such incidents have negative effects on learners and educators as well. This study reports on the findings of mixed method research, which involved quantitative data collection among 220 technical schools as well as qualitative research about safety and the frequency and nature of injuries in Mechanical Technology school workshops. The findings indicate that educators (teachers, instructors) have insufficient knowledge of the law, including ignorance of the de minimis non curat lex-principle, state liability based on section 60 of the Schools Act and the applicability of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to school workshops. Some learners, especially black school girls, are afraid of machines and refuse to work with them. More importantly, the study confirms that some educators are unqualified to teach Mechanical Technology as a subject. Factors like the lack of security, non-compliance with statutory requirements and ignorance of the law contribute to reduce Geborgenheit in workshops. This, in turn, affects the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process in schools.

Keywords : Geborgenheid; Mechanical Technology teacher; learner safety; school workshops; injuries; caring supervision; ignorance of the law; Occupational Health and Safety Act; effective teaching and learning.

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