Put education second? That is pure hogwash
JOHN Godsiff says that educating children is useless and will not succeed in advancing this country. Before education works, he says we need the home life of children to change and for the parents to become better parents. The problem, he says, is “grossly inadequate parenting” and teenage pregnancies.
It will only take a moment for any thinking person to realise the uselessness of saying “First fix poverty and dysfunctional families, and only then can you successfully educate our children”.
Although Mr Godsiff condemns the DA for not solving the issue of inadequate parenting, he himself, in over three columns of newsprint, makes not one practical suggestion how to tackle the problem of inadequate parenting.
It is of course the other way round, – education is a powerful instrument, probably the ONLY instrument – which will improve the quality of life of the poor in any country.
Social ills, including teenage pregnancies about which Mr Godsiff is so obsessed, are directly related to poverty. It is beyond the power of any government to solve the problem of poverty unless they educate people so they can find employment.
Give a person a job and income, and you give that person the possibil- ity of establishing a home and raising him or herself from the despair of joblessness and poverty. And how do people get jobs? By obtaining an education! The single greatest barrier to a poor person getting a job is bad or no education. Teach a person to read and write, and you give that person a huge boost in finding employment.
That is the power of education as a tool for social improvement. Until this country improves the education of our children, we will not solve the social issues related to poverty. The idea that we can somehow solve the social issues first and THEN deliver education is impractical and harmful nonsense.
There are encouraging signs that after 15 largely wasted years, our present Department of Education is recognising the need to go back to basics and abandon policies like Outcomes Based Education, and instead to focus on improving literacy, numeracy and knowledge of English.
Every teacher who teaches a child to read and write and express himself, is doing something concrete towards solving the social issues in this country and ensuring that future generations become better parents, and live better lives.