Opinion

Education, education: Whose education are you talking about?

Educational Status in South Africa

South Africa as a developing country is faced with an immense challenge of ensuring that it gets positive results from its return of investments in education. After the democratic elections of 1994, things had changed drastically with policies in education changing positively to favor the previously marginalized groups.

People across the country had celebrated the abolishment of corporal punishment and the inequalities brought about by the oppressive apartheid regime of South Africa. Learners were given rights in order to protect them from abuse and unfair practices by Educators. Even though the changes are favorable with the playing fields been leveled, the truth is that the changes did not yield the desired results in development.

The government of unity (South African) has invested vastly in education for the sake of helping facilitate the development of a black child in the Southern African continent. One of the flaws that was committed by the government was to appear leading everything with the citizens waiting on the sides to receive from the state. That, on its own, was the demise of the gains made by the democratic dispensation in that people started relying on government for (everything) service delivery.

The education of the learners should be the responsibility of all the stakeholders and they should be equally involved in ensuring that learners receive quality education. Unfortunately, parents and the community at large have become spectators with educators receiving all the criticisms and made to explain why learners are failing!!!

The department of education has turned into a watchdog whilst the parents come to school to drop their children and expecting teachers to perform wonders in changing the lives of these unruly children. Some parents even confess that they are unable to discipline their children and plead for teachers to intervene.

What about those selling dagga and abusing substances at school? Is that really the job of the educators? Those with emotional break downs, are these all the responsibility of the teachers? Are teachers really competent to deal with all these challenges that are happening at schools without the support of parents and the community?  

Are we really grooming these children to be competent in the future or are we just concerned with numbers? How many learners who pass grade 12 with 33% will be able to enroll with institutions of higher learning? Are we really concerned about their grades and the possibilities of them not been able to further their studies, and thus add to the influx of the unemployed people in the country?

Whilst it seems good for us to have made the exit easy for the grades 12 by lowering the pass requirements, I believe we are also helping destroy the future of these innocent learners. If we can progress learners who struggle to write and read we are equally putting a barrel on the heads of this kids and we are about to pull the trigger.

The only way to correct the mess we have created as a country is to go back to GRADE R and start to instill the discipline of reading and writing at an early stage in order to have our learners get used to working. The current generation will have to be sacrificed and start afresh at grade R if we are to win the battle against illiteracy.

Parents should play a crucial role in assisting educators in the development of their children rather than becoming the spectators. It is unfortunate that parents come only when they are called in to collect the reports. Some parents will neglect their duties of developing their children and leave that to the educator who is faced with more than 45 learners in a single class. The tricky is that the educator might not be able to detect if a child is going through emotional challenges and thus fail to nip the problem at an early stage.

The other issue of greater concern is the states of furniture at some schools were vandalism is prevalent. What I have observed is that learners do not take ownership of the furniture of the school and they expect government to do everything for them. Others go about breaking windows and doors during summer and when it is winter it is difficult for them to sit comfortably in class due to the chilly weather.

The great gift and lesson that we need to teach our learners is that they must pay if there is shortage of anything at school so that they can develop ownership of the school properties. Again we must also invite police to do the random search and whoever is found with drugs should be taken for questioning and face possible imprisonment should they be found guilty!!

 

The politics of the day is making life difficult for the citizenry in terms of taking disciplinary measures against their naughty children. Even when we know what needs to be done to correct the rot, we are entangled in the web of wanting to be politically correct. We do not want to be the sacrificial lamb that challenges the dominant believes held by the majority of the politicians.

Maybe we will see a different generations of people who will stand up and say, “Enough is enough of compromising the future of our children”. Until such time has arrived we must just rest assured that we are in a big surprise as young people are continuing to challenge all the good values that guides the behavior of people in our communities.