AuditionsSoccerSPORTS

The Big Read: Lack of vision writ large

A good policy is written in a way that inspires those who act and excites those who benefit by appealing to the best in humankind.

A new policy wins attention through the track record of its predecessor policies – did you deliver what you promised with the previous policy?

A policy gains credibility through truthfulness about the present – one that offers a factual, honest and open account of the state of the target sector, be it health or housing or land reform.

And an effective policy is one that creates a sense of urgency among the people that something needs to be done quickly to correct what is wrong in one or other area of governance.

You will find none of these elements of a good education policy in the 30 pages of fine print in the education, health, science and technology discussion document of the fifth national policy conference of the ANC.

To begin with, the basic education statements are mixed up with higher education and training, health, science, technology and innovation all referring dutifully to a maze of earlier policies. Which would be a good thing in an advanced economy where education systems worked, or where the policy indicators showed how these elements come together to drive a powerful economy. None of that.

The document is clumsy and cumbersome, an unwieldy product, no doubt, of different government departments and various stakeholders all trying to get honourable mention.

I remember those days when simply putting the word “disability” or “equity” in a draft policy document was enough to satisfy an anxious constituency.

In short, what you have is a document that says everything and in the process says nothing. How on earth can 54 policy inputs on basic education come to anything? It will not.

Of course, one must understand that this is a set of political statements and, therefore, it panders to a restless constituency for whom words like “radical” and “revolutionary” – even if the policies themselves contain nothing close to these ideals – can put a lid on popular anger for a while longer.

As a political document one therefore has to accept the sheer vanity of excesses like the one about a single, glorious movement that fought apartheid to bring us to where we are now.

Yet it is the meaningless and meandering language of the policy that really frustrates. Like 54 things that should be done, be encouraged, be attended to and the like in basic education. And then there is the sheer dishonesty.

The government is attending to gangsterism, we are told, as bullets are flying around children on the Cape Flats and some schools shut down and teachers are hospitalised for stress.

Pupil performance is increasing according to international tests of achievement – except we are not told that this is from a very low base and we still remain last or second-last among nations in science and mathematics performance after 20 years of majority spending on education in the national budget.

There’s the rosy policy picture and there’s the harsh reality.

So, what will such a conference realistically achieve for schools? Nothing, really. The primary goal behind these allegedly radical proposals is to position the ruling party ahead of the next elections.

Anyone who thinks there will be serious attention to progressive policy reforms that fundamentally alter the education prospects of the children in the poorest and most dysfunctional schools in South Africa has not been paying attention to the benign neglect of the sector over the past 20 years.

They would have been taken in by the distasteful parade of matriculation results on low standards with about half the children starting in Grade 1 failing to reach Grade 12.

What should be done as a priority to really shift the needle on education change in South Africa? Of all the things that need to be done, one can deliver immediate results.

Find a model of accountability (not inspection) that holds teachers as well as departments responsible for improvements in the learning experiences and outcomes of poor and working- class children. That means a political agreement with the majority teachers’ union with its outsized role in the election of the party president.

Stalemate, of course, and that is why policy and politics is the same word in French.

Comments (1544)

  1. Title

    […]here are some links to web-sites that we link to due to the fact we believe they are really worth visiting[…]

  2. Title

    […]usually posts some quite fascinating stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

  3. Title

    […]Every when inside a whilst we choose blogs that we read. Listed beneath would be the most up-to-date sites that we select […]

  4. Title

    […]that may be the end of this post. Here you will obtain some websites that we feel you will value, just click the links over[…]

  5. Canada Pharmacy

    […]we like to honor numerous other web web pages around the net, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  6. canada pharmacy

    […]Every when inside a when we pick blogs that we study. Listed beneath are the latest web pages that we select […]

  7. Title

    […]we prefer to honor a lot of other internet internet sites on the web, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  8. Canada Pharmacy

    […]that will be the end of this post. Right here you will discover some sites that we believe you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]

  9. Canada Pharmacy

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but do not get a good deal of link like from[…]

  10. canada pharmacy

    […]just beneath, are quite a few entirely not connected internet sites to ours, however, they may be certainly worth going over[…]

  11. junk car removal langley

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I appreciate but do not get quite a bit of link appreciate from[…]

  12. scrap car removal langley bc

    […]usually posts some incredibly exciting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

  13. scrap car removal langley

    […]we like to honor quite a few other online websites around the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

  14. Title

    […]we prefer to honor a lot of other net web sites on the internet, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  15. Title

    […]one of our guests just lately advised the following website[…]

  16. k2 vape juice

    […]Every when in a though we select blogs that we study. Listed below are the most recent sites that we decide on […]

  17. deadhead OG marijuana strain

    […]Every when inside a although we opt for blogs that we read. Listed below are the most up-to-date internet sites that we choose […]

  18. blue dragon strain

    […]very few web-sites that come about to become comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively really worth checking out[…]

  19. Delta xl vape juice

    […]the time to study or check out the material or websites we’ve linked to beneath the[…]

  20. Widow Kush

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nonetheless actually really worth taking a search, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got a lot more problerms at the same time […]

  21. Title

    […]very few websites that happen to become detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]

  22. 1 Pro Vancouver Moving – Phone: (604) 721-4555

    […]we like to honor many other net web pages around the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  23. Vancouver moving company

    […]usually posts some incredibly fascinating stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

  24. Moving Company Vancouver

    […]Here are a few of the web sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

  25. Moving Companies Vancouver BC

    […]please stop by the web sites we comply with, such as this one particular, because it represents our picks in the web[…]

  26. Vancouver moving company

    […]just beneath, are several completely not associated web pages to ours, however, they may be surely worth going over[…]

  27. Best moving company in Vancouver

    […]although web-sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they may be basically really worth a go through, so have a look[…]

  28. Essaypro.Cc

    […]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we feel you need to visit[…]

  29. Weed Dispensary

    […]Here are a number of the web sites we advocate for our visitors[…]

  30. Essaypro.Cc

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated data, nonetheless really worth taking a search, whoa did a single understand about Mid East has got extra problerms at the same time […]

  31. Title

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I like but do not get lots of link appreciate from[…]

  32. Title

    […]usually posts some pretty intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

  33. Title

    […]one of our guests a short while ago suggested the following website[…]

  34. Title

    […]very handful of websites that take place to become in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[…]

  35. Title

    […]usually posts some extremely interesting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]

  36. Title

    […]The info talked about in the write-up are a number of the ideal available […]

  37. Title

    […]below you will find the link to some web-sites that we consider you must visit[…]

  38. Title

    […]we came across a cool web-site that you just may love. Take a appear in case you want[…]

  39. Title

    […]we prefer to honor numerous other world-wide-web web-sites on the web, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]

  40. Title

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

  41. Title

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated data, nevertheless truly really worth taking a look, whoa did one discover about Mid East has got extra problerms also […]

  42. Title

    […]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

  43. Title

    […]The data talked about in the article are a number of the top readily available […]

  44. Title

    […]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but don’t get a great deal of link appreciate from[…]

Comment here