South Africa’s education system has been labeled a catastrophic failure and identified as one of the major drives of inequality in the country by former president FW de Klerk.
“The very poor educational outcomes of the great majority of South African children are one of the principal drivers of poverty and inequality because there is a direct correlation between education levels, income levels, and unemployment,” De Klerk pointed out during his speech on addressing inequality at the annual FW de Klerk foundation conference. He said that we should not be fooled by the annual improvement in matric results and empathized his point by sharing the education rankings compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2015. According to the report, South Africa came 75th out of the 76 countries that were assessed.
In November 2016 South Africa almost ranked last in an international mathematics and science study involving 57 countries. South African children fared worse than children from much poorer countries in Africa. After six years at school, 27% of South African pupils could not read, compared to 4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe.
“Of 100 learners, who start school, 50 will drop out before matric; 40 will pass, but only 12 will qualify for university. This means, in effect, that only 12 out of every 100 children who enter school emerge 12 years later with an acceptable qualification,” De Klerk added. He said that the county needs to fix the education system. The budget this year is R227 billion. Together with other education expenditures, this amounts to almost R16 000 per pupil and student. “We must really concentrate our efforts on ensuring that our children and us get proper value for this enormous investment,” de Klerk stated.
What former president de Klerk is saying is true; we need to uplift our education system.
Working in the education field for over 30 years, I know the great potential in the talented young SA minds; we just need to help them unlock it.
Reading is arguably the most important life skill. How can we expect learners to achieve their maximum personal best in academic or even lifelong learning pursuits if they have not mastered this important skill? Inclusive, equitable and quality education is needed for all.
At Lectorsa, we have a workable solution and proven results. Our virtual solution, LAB-on-line, has assisted more than 85 000 users, to date, to improve their visual processing, reading and comprehension skills.
Together we can combat illiteracy, improve educational outcomes and change the future!
Written by: Minda Marshall