Today, South African schools range from excellent to beyond poor. In provinces such as Gauteng, where infrastructure is more developed, there is a greater awareness of productive schooling and a range of good quality schools. However, in more rural and therefore less developed places, such as Kwazulu-natal and the Eastern Cape, schools are poorly funded, poorly run and there are far greater dropout rates.
It is estimated that South Africa has 12.3 million learners which are divided across 26 292 schools that have 386 600 teachers amongst them. The scary fact is that only 1089 of these schools are registered private institutions. This means that if you matriculated from or are currently in a private school, you are in a privileged minority group. Another scary statistic is that only 6000 of these schools are High schools, with the grades 7-12. The rest is primary schools. So already we can come to the conclusion that there is a concerning dropout rate and a lack of higher education amongst South African students.
Within private schooling the ratio of teachers to students is almost double that of public schools.
More details on school statistics can be viewed at the My Dream Course blog <http://www.mydreamcourse.co.za/blog/2009/09/07/education-in-south-africa/>
We see a marked inequality between private and public education. This is a huge problem for our government, who’s focus has turned mainly to public schooling and who are trying to make the changes needed.
The matric pass rate for 2011 was better than that of 2010 which was an encouragement for government, yet a scary statistic on its’ own. 70. 2 % of matriculants passed, but a mere 24. 3% of those got a university entrance. Within the education system in 2011, the total amount of enrolled learners in public schools were 11 810 224 (93.4%) and 449 875 (3.6%) were in independent schools, yet, another staggering statistic for private education.
More details on matric school statistics can be viewed at the South Africa info website http://www.southafrica.info/about/education/education.htm#ixzz1rAxsspJJ>
What are the issues involved with the schooling system? We’ve moved on from apartheid. Why are we still being haunted by what happened around 20 years ago? The truth is that the ‘bantu’ education system has greatly impacted the present. It has created a vicious cycle of poverty and inefficiency that damages the education of pupils in schools in poorer, less developed communities. Teachers in township schools and rural areas are less trained and competent in what they do.
Although today’s government is working to rectify the imbalances in education, the apartheid legacy remains. About 9-million adults are not functionally literate.
More details can be found at the website South Africa info <http://www.southafrica.info/about/education/education.htm#ixzz1rAykCuiQ>
Townships have a shortage of well-trained, reliable and effective teachers. With rowdy youth mixed up in the cycle of poverty who turn to alcoholism and drugs as a form of escape and young girls who fall pregnant, students end up disadvantaging themselves and becoming the percentage of youth who fall out the education system and out of gaining a degree. The townships of Gauteng especially are harsh places to live for any school child. Survival becomes key and schooling becomes secondary.
Other problems relating more to rural townships and areas within South Africa are those of older pupils dropping out due to the demands of family and because of the HIV/AIDS virus becoming more and more of an issue, family members who are too sick to work or die young, often leave families of children who have to become parents to their younger siblings resulting in a larger dropout rate in schools.
Details can be found at My Dream Course blogsite http://www.mydreamcourse.co.za/blog/2009/08/31/education/>
The education of the poor remains a major source of concern. A programme is being implemented where school fees are subsidised allowing children to go to school for free. Another programme is that of nutritional awareness. Children are fed healthy meals every day, ones they would not get in their homes.
The government is planning to extend this no school fee policy and the nutrition programme is also being slowly expanded. More money is being used on school infrastructure.
Details on programmes being implemented can be viewed at the South Africa info website <http://www.southafrica.info/about/education/education.htm#ixzz1rAzMk835>
Slowly the government is making progress with education. However, it is painful and one that will take time and dedication and plenty of financial aid. As citizens of South Africa we look at the education system helplessly and wonder what can be done.
Some of the measures need to be taken are the following: Teachers need extensive training and examining before they are left free in a classroom. It is important that government aid is on hand. Textbooks, desks and many other materials are continually needed in public schools especially. Anyone can get involved in helping out with this at a local level. Infrastructure needs to be seriously focused on and classrooms and facilities built to cater to the pupils needs. Libraries should be invested in with computer systems.
English has also become a language of concern. A huge drive for this language at school level has been implemented and hopefully progress and development in this vital language will soon be seen.
Education, at the moment is being strictly examined and new measures are being found to progress to a higher level of South African education.
My Dream Course Blog 2009, Department of Education, Word press and grapheme theme, viewed 5 April, 2012, < http://www.mydreamcourse.co.za/blog/2009/09/07/education-in-south-africa/>
South Africa info, Education in South Africa 2012, Big Media Publishers, viewed 5 April, 2012, <http://www.southafrica.info/about/education/education.htm#ixzz1rAxsspJJ>