by Tracee Harvard

What Is The Future Of Education In SA?

The Burning Question Of Education In SA

African child at rural and dilapidated school
African school.jpg
The education system in SA has been under scrutiny of late because of two major textbook incidents where in Limpopo, textbooks were shredded and burnt under instruction, which is still under investigation. The other was the destruction of textbooks in the Eastern Cape that according to sources were outdated in any case. 

Regardless of the reasons for these atrocities, a bigger question needs to be answered. What is the education department to say about these acts? Are we going to find other provinces guilty of doing the same thing?

Tax payers money goes towards contributing to the education of the hundreds of thousands of youths by paying teachers' salaries, and the upkeep of buildings, not to mention the time wasted to educate these children.

In a recent report, it was indicated that the Western Cape in 2010 had increased its no-fee schools by 64% since 2008. The other provinces besides the Free State had increased no-fee schools in slight amounts.

But the issue that burns even further is what researcher for Institute of Race Relations, Jonathan Snyman had to say.

According to him, with no-fee paying schools, the quality of education had to be monitored more so than schools that had a fee-paying policy because the risk the quality of educating children at these schools would drop is a major concern. 

What seems to be clear is that there is no proper governance in these matters and that accountability is also lacking.

It is of great import that corporate SA become involved in becoming part of the solution to the education crisis in SA.

Why? Not just because it is the right thing to do and would be good for business and best practice. It would assist both parties in having specific jobs required to meet the end goal where accountability would be forced.

At the moment, it seems that the government is refusing to take responsibility for this mess and as CEO of Ethics SA, Deon Roussouw stated in a news report: too many state officials use their positions to get away with not being held accountable by passing blame to others. 

We desperately need accountability, transparency, and responsibility to be a focus of both government and the private sector.

If we have provinces that are burning textbooks and or not distributing them to the correct schools on the one hand and if we have to be concerned about no-fee schools not educating our children properly on the other hand, what kind of future are we to expect for our children?

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Issue 23


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