Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Depressing news on the education front.....again....

But this time in South Africa. The New York Times had a front page article on Saturday detailing the failure of the ANC to adequately address education problems faced by students. The distressing examples reminded me of driving through KwaZulu/Natal in 2005 and being impressed by the number of new school buildings we saw in the rural communities and the hordes of school children in their smart uniforms in maroon, green, navy, black walking miles and miles in pursuit of improving their lot in life. We were so impressed, until we began to realise that we were seeing these children walking to and fro at all times of the day. We discussed this with an old anti-apartheid fighter in East London. She informed us that what we had been observing was called "schooling": when teachers don't show up, when attendance requirements are not upheld, when there are no books, then the children walk to and fro, in a fashion parade of uniforms, getting their "schooling". Their parents have had to buy these uniforms, pay tuition just so that these students can walk the highways. The teachers' union, the ANC, the community should feel ashamed and demand accountability and live up to the promises that have been made to the youth of South Africa.

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