Nah not really
Although the article is focused on South Africa it is equally relevant for most countries in the world
The headlines scream:
South Africa is the most unequal country in the world.
A 2018 World Bank report on poverty and inequality in South Africa found that, in many ways, the legacy of apartheid endures. Previously disadvantaged South Africans hold fewer assets, have fewer skills, earn lower wages, and are still more likely to be unemployed, .
These inequities are mirrored in the education system, where 20% of schools are broadly functional, and 80% are mostly dysfunctional. The life chances of the average South African child are determined not by their ability, hard work or diligence, but
- by the colour of their skin,
- the province of their birth, and
- the wealth of their parents.
“The reality is so deterministic that before a child’s seventh birthday one can predict with some precision whether they will inherit a life of chronic poverty and sustained unemployment, or a dignified life and meaningful work.”
So how can we make a difference? How can we turn this around?
“We are witnessing a process unfolding where an unjustifiable and illegitimate racial education system (apartheid) morphs and evolves into one that is more justifiable and somewhat nonracial, all the while accommodating a small privileged class of South Africans who are not bound to the shared fate of their fellow citizens.”
Today black and coloured learners make up 60% of those attending former whites-only fee-charging schools. Thus, a small, separate and functional school system that was created to privilege one section of the population and exclude others has remained intact. But the discriminating principle has morphed over time from ….
race to fees
So what is wrong with our school system?
We read all the time about learners not being able to read and worst, not being able to comprehend. One intellectual research paper follows another, just to prove a point that we already know. Where is a proposal to remedy the situation?
In my capacity as a principal I was confronted by distraught and resigned parent who spoke very poor English. He handed me his child’s report card. When I looked at it, I saw that the child had done extremely bad in the exam. With an equally distraught face I looked at him and declared: Your child has done very poorly. His simply replied ….
YES principal, I pay my school fees diligently. I caught my breath for a while trying to digest his response. Suddenly I realized that his, was and answer of resignation. It said: Yes, I send my child to school because I do not have the ability to assist him or her.
No one can stop the 4IR and the digital future. But should resources not be equally focused on teaching children to read as it is focused on IT and Coding. Yes, the new curriculum will mostly benefit the 20 percent while the 80 percent that cannot comprehend need to read first in order to benefit from the 4IR future. In the end the gulf between the rich and poor will be greater. This is the reality of ignoring the future.
Here are some sad fact:
Educators are not adequately prepared to teach PHONICS – the corner stone of reading. Or there is not enough emphasis on PHONIC teaching
Children are not stimulated / enriched through story telling in the formative years
Gross motor development is a byword in education
I conclude by saying with certainty that the challenge to fix the education system is beyond the politicians.
Statistic Quoted from NEWS 24 -https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/features/2019-10-24-sas-schooling-system-not-making-the-grade/