Sunday World (South Africa)

‘Black children getting raw deal’

Motlanthe slams poor education


South Africa’s basic education system is not laying a solid foundation for the African and coloured child – it is only white and Indian children who fly high, and this deficiency needs to be quickly rectified.

With a month to go before the ANC national elective conference in Nasrec, Johannesbu­rg, former president Kgalema Motlanthe opened up to Sunday World in an interview, berating his own organisati­on, and the education system he views as impeding the progress an African and coloured child in a world in which the fourth industrial revolution is a reality.

Motlanthe was also scathing in his assessment of the country’s health system, which he said, unlike that of Cuba, was more “curative-oriented than preventati­ve”.

“Our basic education system has been for many years failing the black and coloured child, while a white and Indian child is making significan­t progress, far outperform­ing their black and coloured counterpar­ts, and entering areas of technology and engineerin­g in big ways.

“We are sitting with the same questionab­le Bantu education presented to an African child, and our response as government to this state of affairs has been appallingl­y poor. But it is no use complainin­g. We need to do something drastic to fix the problem and the system. These are the things we need to be seized with in the ANC, rather than focusing on slates and divisions, which do nothing to improve the lives of our communitie­s,” Motlanthe said.

He said the apartheid regime started the rot by closing down mission schools, and taking over the system, creating Bantu education, a mess of a poisonous system we defeated when the ANC took over the reins of government in 1994.

“But today we continue to face the same problem. We closed down teacher training colleges for no sound reason, to our detriment. Now the quality of our education suffers badly.

“We need to reopen the colleges. We need to employ a new generation of teachers versed in science and technology, and to strengthen our early childhood developmen­t programme (ECD), and at those stages of a child’s developmen­t, we must discern the academic strength of a child so that they are channelled into correct career choices.

Something must be changed to equalise opportunit­ies

“The white and Indian children are by far ahead of children in township schools. Something drastic must be changed to equalise opportunit­ies of all children in this country,” he said.

The former president said it was his prayer that South Africa should not backslide, and revert to ways designed by the oppressive apartheid system to deny black people quality education necessary to make progress in life.

Turning to the country’s health system, Motlanthe minced no words, describing it as not “adequate to address the needs of our communitie­s”.

“Our health system drasticall­y needs redirectio­n. Rather than being geared towards preventing diseases, it is more inclined to be curative. It waits for community to get sick, and then responds by finding a cure, when to do so might be too late to help a patient,” Motlanthe said.

“We need to change the way we do things.”

 ?? ?? Former president Kgalema Motlanthe laments the state of our education system that is failing our black and coloured children.
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe laments the state of our education system that is failing our black and coloured children.

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