Commitment is a loaded word, carrying significant meaning and enormous expectation. The Oxford dictionary defines the word as meaning: "the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc." and "an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action".
To show commitment requires a level of dedication, often in the face of adversity, to see through a set path or course of behaviors agreed upon by an individual, a group of persons, or organizational structures. It virtually narrows your scope to a single purpose or set of plans to give effect to the expected outcomes, with appropriate reviews and augmentation to ensure success. You have little time or space to twiddle-your-thumbs.
Many organizations, schools included, spend inordinate amounts of time planning and executing action plans but the expected outcomes are often not forthcoming. And often these grandiose steps don't work because there is a complete lack of commitment to see them through. There is almost a position held that the plans will and must work, and it is forgotten that the outcomes expected requires a hard slog to the finish line. And often this is thought of as "asking-too-much" of the people involved. But that is exactly what total commitment requires. If the forces that liberated South Africa from Apartheid were not committed to the cause, do you believe we would have achieved our democracy? Can you imagine if the quest to land on the moon was done in a half-hearted way, that we would ever have landed on it? Do you believe that the team that built the space shuttle were not totally committed to the singular purpose of getting it to become the first return-to-earth craft for re-use as a multiple space flight vehicle? I am sure you also know that the sighted examples experienced failure many times before they enjoyed ultimate success!
So, when you look at the achievement outcomes of learners at our schools after mid-term examinations, are you disillusioned, disheartened and sick because it is not what you expected? Do you feel like you've tried so hard but it's not working and so you are ready to give up? Let me challenge you with the following questions if you do feel angry and saddened - were you really committed to the cause? Or are the outcomes you face not just a reflection of your purposeless energy spent and lack of dedication to realize something better?