We join all the successful matriculation candidates in celebrating their negotiation of one of the most important watersheds in their blossoming young lives. But that said, we must make mention of the continuing inequities of this country’s educational system.
It continues to show the flaws inherent in what can only be described as a two-tier system, where those who can bear the costs of private education, as well as a good many others who make untold personal sacrifices to lever their children out of the unremitting press of the public school system, pay heavily for the learning process.
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Simply put, it is far easier to assimilate knowledge in a well-taught class of 15 students than in the maelstrom of a classroom crammed to the gunwales with 50 and more pupils. There has been little difference in overall outcomes at public schools and the mathematics and science returns remain of serious concern for the long-term academic health of this nation.
The much-hyped pass rate is more than just a simplistic listing of numbers and percentages relating to the future of young South Africans. Neither is the chronic overcrowding of schools mentioned.
Blame must be laid equally on the radicalisation, proven nepotism and corruption within the teaching profession on one hand and on the poor training apparent in many cases of the persons tasked with giving the lesson.
The rapidly changing curricula, a jump from syllabus to syllabus according to the shifting quicksands of political expediency and a dumbing down of demands for an acceptable grade must also come into an increasingly complex equation.
Education is more than just a word bandied about by the often ill-informed. The realities of concrete issues are at stake. It is surely time to take the real battle to the classrooms to produce a more rounded product.