Educating South Africa, The plot thickens.

Educating South Africa, The plot thickens.
What does tomorrow hold for our youth?
What does tomorrow hold for our youth?
What does tomorrow hold for our youth?

Education in SA is a growing concern and even worse crisis. There has been a lot of writing on it and sometimes I feel people dont hear what is being said but just react. There are a lot of debates raging in SA but really action should be taken. Communities need to rise to save the children. Anyway I will keep this list of articles updated as I dig out more of what I have read. This post was in response to Lebo Mashile's Tweets. Follow @lebomashile

From Jonathan Jansen, I respect his views and have been following his work for about 2 years now:

  • "South Africa: Sinking deeper into mediocrity" Excerpt: "This young (incidentally black) person did not achieve anything above 50% in her Senior Certificate results for any exam subject, but we tell her she can proceed to higher studies. What are we saying? That black students are somehow less capable and therefore need these pathetic results to access higher education? No, I am sorry, but today I am angry about the messages we send our children."
  • 'Time to bring back the nuns' Excerpt: "For the moment, I don’t see education in South Africa going too far. If you think of education as 29,000 schools, 23 universities, and then technical colleges, (it is) not (going) very far at the moment because the politics of the public schooling is firmly retained by major trade unions, which do not care a damn about kids."

Some articles from politics web:

  • The dumbing down of our youth -Rhoda Kadalie - Excerpt: "SA's dysfunctional school system and poor university throughput rates explain the high unemployment rates amongst the youth. In 2009 48% of SA's of 15 - 24 year olds were unemployed; by 2010 unemployment in that group increased to 51%. Some 3.3 million are not in employment, education, or training."
  • Our education system is in trouble - Anne Oberholzer - Excerpt: "However there are ample indicators of the poor health of the education system.  These indicate that by Grade 3 the system is already on the back foot and by Grade 6 the problem has assumed substantial proportions.   The performance of South African learners in international tests such as TIMSS and PIRLS, in SAQMEC tests and no doubt, in the Annual National Assessments, tell us, without any room for doubt, that our education system is in trouble."

From the HSRC

  • High university drop-out rates: a threat to South Africa’s future: Moeketsi Letseka and Simeon Mail -
  • Summary: South Africa’s university graduation rate of 15% is one of the lowest in the world. Higher education also reflects broader inequalities, with the graduation rate for white students more than double that of black students. Black students are generally under-represented at universities, a demographic reality that promises to reproduce racial inequalities well into the future. Broader steps to tackle poverty and inequality are needed to address these disparities in higher education. In addition, we recommend a voucher system to support lower-income students.

From the Daily Maverick:

  • Relearning the ABCs of literacy - Khadija Patel - Excerpt: 'The Annual National Assessment results placed literacy levels among Grade 3 pupils at 35% while Grade 6 pupils scored a paltry 28% for languages. Amanda Strydom points out in the Mail and Guardian that the results show a link between low socio-economic status and poor classroom performance. Poor resources, a lack of mother-tongue tuition and weak early childhood development are also seen to dog the progress of students in South Africa and the University of Johannesburg’s Salim Valley believes the results "show the inequality in our country”.'

Newer Developments, New Ideas

  • Simphiwe Dana's Black Education Stockvel ( Mail and Guardian): Afro-jazz musician Simphiwe Dana has a novel idea for drawing young professionals into fixing the ailing state school system -- a black education stokvel. Afro-jazz musician Simphiwe Dana has a novel idea for drawing young professionals into fixing the ailing state school system -- a black education stokvel.
  • More on Simphiwe Dana ( - City Press): The singer and composer embarked on what she has termed the Black Culture Education Tour, which took her to 26 schools in far flung rural areas and townships across five provinces in March.And as a result, she is now on a mission to get South Africans of all hues to contribute to quality and equality in the education system.She calls it the Black Stokvel Education Project. Recently she organised two meetings, one in Johannesburg and another in Cape Town, to lay the groundwork and get further input. You can follow Simphiwe Dana: @simphiwedana

Race, Gender and Disability in Higher Education

  • Report of the Ministerial Committee on Transformation and Social Cohesion and theElimination of Discrimination in Public Higher Education Institutions 2008 Ministerial  Report from Department of Higher Education paints a bleak picture of how discrimination is still a major problem in South African Higher Education institutions. This impacts on creating a welcoming environment for black, female and disabled academics and students.

The views I have here on my blog are my own and obviously will have my own personal bias contained within, whether intended or not. I appreciate discussion so you can leave comments below.

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