The Star Late Edition

A nail in SA’S coffin of education


IT IS OBVIOUS to everybody, except possibly Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy, that the public schooling system in the townships is almost totally dysfunctio­nal.

The government’s incompeten­ce over the past 18 years, combined with Sadtu’s politicisa­tion of education and continual interferen­ce with teaching, has ensured that effective teaching doesn’t exist in any meaningful fashion.

As a result, desperate parents will do anything to gain admittance to any school where discipline and effective teaching remain.

Currently the only part of the public education system that still provides effective teaching are the Model C schools. This is in no way due to the Education Department’s efforts, but is almost entirely thanks to parents who make huge financial sacrifices (after NOT WITH IT: MEC for Gauteng Education Barbara Creecy. tax) to pay the higher school fees, subsidise the most qualified and experience­d teachers’ (usually in maths and science) salaries, as well as pay for extra teachers to maintain class sizes at optimal levels for effective teaching.

Of course, they do this so that their children will benefit directly, but less fortunate children benefit at the same time at no cost to their parents. All of this has now been placed in jeopardy by the recent court ruling that gives the lamentably ineffectiv­e Education Department the right to determine admission numbers at all public schools. It would appear that nobody in the Education Department has considered the consequenc­es of this ill-considered ruling, so allow me to make some prediction­s:

The Education Department­s will take full advantage of the ruling and will force Model C schools to accept ridiculous numbers of non-fee-paying pupils from outside the school’s feeder area.

This will lead to the type of overcrowdi­ng, lack of discipline and drop in teaching standards that are the norm in townships schools. The wealthier parents, regardless of race, will not tolerate this and will move their children to private schools.

The best teachers, underpaid, under-appreciate­d and unable to conduct effective teaching, will soon follow the better-off pupils to the private schools.

Result: Model C schools and township schools will soon be equal in terms of the standards of education – a disgrace to education.

This is a wonderful Christmas present for private schools.

Our government seems to exist in a universe where something can be had for nothing.

The truth of the matter is that quality costs money. The Education Department needs to accept that lowering standards at Model C schools is not the answer. The only solution is more public schools in underdevel­oped areas, more qualified teachers and more discipline­d and committed teachers in these schools.

Krugersdor­p, Mogale City DINNER For One was going to be on TV again on New Year’s Eve. This was exciting as we’d missed it not being on for years. We all reminisced about our favourite lines. It was really something to look forward to.

What a dismal flop! Did the producers really think they could improve on a perfect production? They missed the point. The butler in the original becomes progressiv­ely more drunk and funnier.

Our man was slapstick and not in the least convincing.

Miss Sophie’s only funny bit was the rhythm of her stick as she entered the room.

The tiger’s head played an important role in the original.

It was just something on the floor in this silly, not-in-theleast-bit-funny production that became even more irritating by being broken into with adverts.

Maybe the SABC thinks they’ve now got a winner and it’ll be broadcast every year.

How many people will be caught a second time? I know we won’t, nor anyone I’ve spoken to about it. Either give us the real thing or nothing at all.

Florida Park, Roodepoort

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