SouthAfricans emphasize more on the matricresults and ignore the quality of basic education. Teachers, principals and mostof the members of the Education Departmentare obsessed with Grade 12 and don’t focus on the functioning of the primary school system.
This is resulting in children coming out of school without the 3basic R’s of education: ability to Read, wRite, and aRithmetics. Basic education should be a primary driver oftransformation in South Africa. Moreover, teacher training programmes should becreated for developing teaching skills to guidethe learners. Principals and staffs should dedicate their focus on improvingthe use of resources available to enhace learning. In this way, South Africacould develop into a country with increased literacy rate, employment rate, GDPper capita and in other economic aspects. Besides, even after South Africa’s rate of investment ineducation is amongst the highest in the world, many schools still lackelementary services, infrastructure and learning resources due to the absenceof support from the principal which basically reflects the failure of Educationdepartments to deliver their core responsibilities. Students don’t get taughtthe skills reuired to use the resources provided to them. “SouthAfrica spends 20 percent of its budget on educationor 6.
4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)” and at the same time,developing countries spend only a fraction of what South Africa spends have thebetter academic achievement. Thisultimately concludes that without a well-functioningsupport and monitor, all the investments areworthless. The resources provided will be used in a non-efficient manner, bringing down the quality of education andtherefore the school’s success will decline. Managementis yet another crucial factor that pulls down the education system fromadvancing. Of course, school managementis largely reliant on the school principals who are expected to support andmonitor schools in both administration andsubject areas. However, regrettably, many school’s principals don’t have thecorrect skills and fail to ensure decent quality education as they don’t verifythe quality of the teachers they enroll which results to poor guidance. And dueto this this, they lack a motivational push to learn which results to numerousdropouts:”41% of students who in 2015 enrolled for Grade 10, did not make it tomatric.” Moreover,their absenteeism demotes the quality of education in South Africa.
“Out of 130maths lessons scheduled for Grade 6pupils, teachers had only administered 50lessons”. This insufficient teaching time outcomes to inadequate opportunityfor pupils to learn. “Grade 5 pupils wrote in their books only once a week orless. It added that only 3% of Grade 5 pupils across the country wrote in theirbooks every day” which is quite unsatisfactory as compared to the standardquantity a Grade 5 student should write.
Further reports have reflected thatthe syllabus isn’t completed by the end of the year in many schools. How willthe students be able to perform if half of the official curriculum is beingcovered? If half of the officially scheduled lessons were being taught? Due tosuch negligence, “66% of our Grade 9’s can’t do basic maths and science”, whichis surely disappointing.Teachers’quality is a serious concern for South Africa’s declining standards. “79% ofour Grade 6 maths teacher can’t pass Grade 6 maths test”. This implies that theteachers don’t have the basic pedagogic and are unable to enact the basicfunctions of teaching. They lack content knowledge which is required to boostthe skills of the learners.
Teachers must know how to translate the knowledge foreffective learning in the classroom. SouthAfrica, unfortunately, has failed to deliver this vital tool to its citizens. Statisticsrelated to education in South Africa portrays that education system has notbeen able to achieve its purpose. “Real matric pass rate is 37.3%” whichobviously doesn’t reflect a good performance. Ironically, the core of this poorresult commences in primary education. “78% of our Grade 4 kids cannot read formeaning in any language” conveys that the schooling system is failing thelearners long before they reach their final years. The problem arises when thecause of this poor outcome comes with multiple factors, mainly in-school factorsuch as teaching and management.
“Educationis the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, a quote byNelson Mandela. Education is an essential tool which is required to inheritmoral spiritual and ethical values and to earn a livelihood. It is the backboneof developing countries which produces good citizens and therefore, is quitesignificant.