For discussion of: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), access and Articulation – moving between the sub-frameworks of Umalusi, Higher Education (CHE), and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).
William Shakespeare Understood the ETD Environment
3rd Jun 2013 at 7:47 am #4690
If you were to read some of Shakespeare’s plays you can easily get the impression that he knew that the ETD environment of the future would be turbulent and difficult to cope with. He probably understood that the work of the educationalist is an unthankful one, and he had a special place in his heart for private learning providers. Shakespeare will probably turn around in his grave when he sees what I did with extracts from his plays. Then again it is said that he did have a good sense of humour, so perhaps he would have had a good chuckle. I obtained the quotes used in this article from http://www.william-shakespeare.info… accessed on 2013/05/27.
Shakespear understood the important role that money, and with money, bribery would play in so many different facets of ETD, so in Taming of the Shrew Act I, Scene 2 he wrote: “Nothing comes amiss; so money comes withal.” In Richard III, Act IV, Scene IV he cautions us to stick to the truth and to keep the truth plain and simple by writing “An honest tale speeds best, being plainly told.” He warned that those who are dishonest will always fear that they might be caught out when he wrote in King Henry VI, Part III, Act V, Scene 6: “Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind: The thief doth fear each bush an officer.”
Greedy learning institutions tend to take from individuals in positions of influence whatever is offered for free. The problem with such favours is that there is often a catch, and once the freebie has been accepted it is too late to turn back. Government bodies might grant you a good training contract, only to expect of you to pay for their end-of-the year function. Yes, Shakespear also described this phenomenon when he wrote in The Winter’s Tale, Act I, Scene I: “You pay a great deal too dear for what’s given freely.”
Accountability is probably the one concept that few leaders in our country understand. Ministers, directors of state departments, CEO’s of semi-government bodies, do not seem to understand, nor care that they have a duty to fulfil towards the government and community, and when things go wrong and they are called upon to explain they often adopt an attitude of being the innocent victim. In this respect Shakespear wrote in King Henry IV, Part II, Act III, Scene I: “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”
Research has shown that the large majority of people do not seek success but rather excuses for not succeeding. Anything that goes wrong for which government and other leaders, including leaders in ETD are accountable is blamed on apartheid or somebody else. Shakespear advised that we should forget the past if there is nothing we can do about it and concentrate on the future. In The Winter’s Tale, Act III, Scene II he wrote: “What’s gone and what’s past help should be past grief.”
As quality assurance bodies, SETAs and DHET weaken, learning institutions get the impression that the situation will never improve, with the result that they seek alternative options, so that the leading role players become redundant. Many learning institutions and employers already ask the question if accreditation means anything, if quality assurance bodies have any role to play, if they are adding any value to the ETD system. The more learning institutions lose the less do they have to lose. In King Henry VI, Act III, Scene III Shakespear described this in the following words: “Having nothing, nothing can he lose.”
It is difficult to offer a professional service and operate in an honest manner in an environment rife with corruption, fraud, lies, backstabbing, etc. Shakespear described this in Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene 1 when he wrote: “Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.” Wrongdoers in ETD are masters at rationalising, at finding good sounding arguments why what they did was actually the right thing to do. Shakespear described this in Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene III when he wrote: “The devil can site scripture for his purpose.”
In closing, as long as there is hope that things will improve there will also be those who try to make a difference. About this Shakespear wrote in Measure for Measure, Act III, Scene I: “The miserable have no other medicine but only hope” In spite of all the changes that is supposed to improve the quality of living of the South African community, everything seems to deteriorate. In As You Like It, Act 11, Scene VII Shakespear wrote: “True it is that we have seen better days.” Still, let’s not despair, let’s stay positive and do our best to ensure that the future is a bright one. As Shakespear wrote in Othello, Act I, Scene III: “The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief.”
You can read the longer version of this article at http://www.intgrty.co.za
Dr Hannes Nel, MD Mentornet
3rd Jun 2013 at 8:13 am #4700
I like this. I taught English at High School for a number of years and would show my students how Shakespeare had an uncanny and possibly pessimistic knowledge of human frailties. However, on a positive note there is a line that occurs in two of Shakespeare’s plays – probably his greatest – Hamlet and King Lear. that I use as a personal motto – ‘The readiness is all’.
3rd Jun 2013 at 8:14 am #4699
3rd Jun 2013 at 8:45 am #4698
Hannes, what a wonderful way to start the week. Thank you. The world of ETD is indeed contested terrain. But I recall years (decades) ago I had a boss at Unilever who said to me: you can’t make a difference when everything is going well – only when there is a problem or it is going badly – that’s your chance to show what you can do.
“Still, let’s not despair, let’s stay positive and do our best to ensure that the future is a bright one.” Shakespeare As You Like It, Act 11, Scene VII
3rd Jun 2013 at 9:46 am #4697
Tee-hee, it was fun playing around with Shakespear over the weekend and I am glad that you, Michele and David liked it. I also noticed that the messages are carried on my profile with you. I don’t quite know how this works, so I apologise if I am supposed to respond to that as well. Perhaps you can briefly explain the purpose of the personal profile and how it is different from just communicating via the “open” forum?
3rd Jun 2013 at 10:13 am #4696
3rd Jun 2013 at 10:34 am #4695
Dear Hannes – Just love it!! The closest I have ever come to Shakespeare is to share a 23 April birthday with him – we are not Taureans for nothing, albeit centuries apart! My favourite bit is from Henry V – Was it our matric “set work?” It echoes my mood each time we have to withstand the onslaught from Services SETA Verifiers, each with their own agendas. With apologies to Shakespeare, (and the lack of prose) read “Private Providers” for “English”.
KING HENRY V Act 111 1598
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage; Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; Let pry through the portage of the head like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it as fearfully as doth a galled rock o’erhang and jutty his confounded base, swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit to his full height. On, on, you noblest English. Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof! Fathers that, like so many Alexanders, have in these parts from morn till even fought and sheathed their swords for lack of argument: Dishonour not your mothers; now attest that those whom you call’d fathers did beget you. Be copy now to men of grosser blood, and teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman, whose limbs were made in England, show us here the mettle of your pasture; let us swear that you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not; For there is none of you so mean and base, that hath not noble lustre in your eyes.”
Time for our “English” to rise up and fight – Shakespearean style. If he has lasted this long, so can we.
3rd Jun 2013 at 6:09 pm #4694
Wilma de VilliersParticipant
5th Jun 2013 at 9:03 am #4693
5th Jun 2013 at 7:02 pm #4692
Brilliant! I’ve worked in both fields over the last few years (ETDP Training and High School English), so I can appreciate the poetic links you’ve made. Great stuff! I often have difficulty convincing high schoolers how Shakespeare is still relevant in our age. Texts like this expand that audience of appreciative readers (I hope!).
7th Jun 2013 at 8:46 pm #4691
Hannes, truly a unique way of looking at things and if I know those who have an ETD thinking mind, like me, they will all from here on forward be looking at other authors to see if they could find similar parables as you described in Shakespear. Thanx for prompting me into new avenues of thinking
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.