Restoring education to glory
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