Restor­ing education to glory

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - John Whit­lock

THERE is no doubt that Bantu education was in­fe­rior to that of whites dur­ing apartheid, and that funding was also skewed to­wards white schools.

How­ever, af­ter 23 years of ANC rule, Angie Mot­shekga, the Min­is­ter of Ba­sic Education, has ad­mit­ted that South African schools are in a cri­sis that is “akin to a na­tional cri­sis”.

Funding is no longer a prob­lem as over 6% of GDP is spent on education – more than any other African coun­try.

In his 2016 Budget speech, Pravin Gord­han, bud­geted R297.5 billion for education, of which R205.8bn was al­lo­cated to ba­sic education. Yet our education is in cri­sis – the ex­cuse be­ing the “legacy of apartheid”. Where does all this money go? In 2014/15 South Africa’s maths and science ranked last out of 140 coun­tries.

In 2015, 213 000 pupils out of nearly 800 000 failed their end of year ex­ams (26.6%). This is apart from the mas­sive drop-out rate. More than half of the pupils start­ing Grade 1 drop out over the 12-year pe­riod.

In a re­cent study by Stel­len­bosch Uni­ver­sity, the fol­low­ing prob­lems were high­lighted:

1. Poor teacher con­tent knowl­edge and the in­abil­ity to im­part knowl­edge ef­fec­tively – ped­a­gog­i­cal skills.

2. The clo­sure of teach­ers’ train­ing col­leges.

3. Mul­ti­ple and con­tin­ual changes in the cur­ricu­lum and pol­icy – this un­der­mines and de­mor­alises teach­ers.

4. The fact that Sadtu of­fi­cials “had cap­tured the education sys­tem and were run­ning education in North West, KwaZulu-Na­tal, Lim­popo, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape”.

Sadtu has re­peat­edly re­fused the “test­ing of teach­ers’ and prin­ci­pals’ com­pe­ten­cies, pe­ri­odic eval­u­a­tion of teach­ers, per­for­mance con­tracts for prin­ci­pals, a bio­met­ric sys­tem to mon­i­tor teach­ers’ school at­ten­dance, pay that is linked to per­for­mance, and the in­tro­duc­tion of in­spec­tors to mon­i­tor the de­liv­ery of the cur­ricu­lum”.

These are vi­tal com­po­nents for a good education. Sadtu is in­deed not only ham­per­ing, but de­stroy­ing our education.

In many schools less “than half the cur­ricu­lum is be­ing cov­ered by the end of the year, and less than half of the sched­uled lessons are be­ing taught”. What are teach­ers do­ing all day?

6. Teacher ab­sen­teeism is another prob­lem, as well as in­ad­e­quate teach­ing time and ac­tual teach­ing ac­tiv­ity. Fix these and other prob­lems and we will re­gain top ed­u­ca­tional sta­tus. Ger­mis­ton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.