Avatar photo

By Kekeletso Nakeli


Education system is failing SA’s kids, and we owe it to them to fix it

South Africa's children appear to be learning a culture of simply 'getting it done', instead of doing things well.

We wait in anticipation of the upcoming matric results, knowing of the scandals that have already been exposed relating to leaked question papers…

But why is becoming more and more difficult to emotionally and financially invest in the South African education system? My heart bleeds for my children’s future.

We’ve all heard the claims about the decline of the quality of education in SA – that, in fact, the qualification of matric is not worth the paper it’s written on…

Education should be about opening the doors of opportunity, enabling a true culture of learning and teaching to take root, striving for ever-higher levels of performance.

Also Read: Matrics prepare for rewrites this week, after load shedding, tech glitches, protest disruptions

But that has never really come to fruition and has been masked in continuously decreased pass marks – 30% being an “elementary pass”.

We are certainly no closer to the quality education that any parent wants for their children.

SA has a reputation for having a poor standard in particularly the fields of mathematics and science, and the low pass mark certainly sets the bar quite low.

The elementary pass is the barrier between success and failure.

If a pupil is “lucky enough”, they can scrape through, attaining a paper that leaves them outside the employment and university entrance pool.

Also Read: Special needs schools say they’re being neglected

Is this not pushing children to a culture of just “getting it done” without teaching them to get it done above average?

Are children being taught parrot-fashion; to write and simply forget it later – or are they taught to take whatever skills and knowledge in each subject further?

It all boils down to the one who stood before the chalkboard and gave the teaching skills –the teacher. And how good or bad they are.

Remember a teacher can teach for over 40 years, and what damage or good is this person imparting to our children in that time?

The deterioration in performance is of great concern. But we, the parents, cannot call out the department of basic education if we are not willing to test the system in its entirety.

We owe that to our children…

This video is no longer available.

Read more on these topics

Department of Basic Education (DBE)