Geography 400 Class Blog
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Geography 400 Class Blog
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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools | Geography 400 Class Blog | Scoop.it
Celia Dugger reports from the Kwamfundo School near Cape Town on South Africa's struggling public education system.

 

This poignant clip shows that South Africa may be in a post-apartheid era, but most certainly not a post-racial era as schools are as deeply divided as ever. 

 

APR-

Can we ever really say that apartheid or other racist forms of discriminatory government are ever really gone? While on paper it's been 18 years since the democratic elections heralded he beginning of “equality” can it be said that there has been a true sea change? The rules of apartheid didn’t simply dissolve overnight – the teachers that are currently educating the newly “equal” were themselves educated under a system that promoted “black African” or “coloured” people as best suited to hard labour and service industries.

When the educators are not all “engaged” in the school and students, it will have a negative impact on the quality of education. The statistic where many teachers come in late or simply don’t show up at all shows that the students themselves, while suffering, have a solution: teach it themselves. In the education system that we are indoctrinated into would a student be held accountable for educating his or her peers in lieu of a teacher? Of course not.

There is another shocking statistic: less that 50% graduate high school and a smaller minority ever goes on to higher education. In Rhode Island, Central Falls is often seen as the “worst” performing school district, but if InfoWorks 2012 is correct 70.3% of students graduate high school, with a further 1.2% completing a GED program. What would our country look like if only 50% of our students graduated? Would they feel that they had "won freedom?"


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Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:14 PM

It's difficult to overcome something as oppressive as colonial rule and apartheid. South Africa's schools are still trying do so in a post-apartheid era. Judging from this video, the students have the desire to learn and better themselves to become what the country needs in order to succeed but the teachers and education system itself lacks the desire. I loved seeing the that some of the students actually step up and take charge of the class to help them learn. It's difficult to educate youth if the teachers have no desire to do so and you can't expect the students to move on to college and become a doctor or a chemist if they are unable to pass their science class. It amazed me that with all the struggles these students were going through in their personal lives, they were upbeat and ready and willing to learn.

 

Also, the singing impressed. Not because they were good, but I imagined trying to get a class of 15 year old students in America that were not taking a specifically music class to sing. I could only imagine the groans and refusal to participate from them!

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:28 PM

Watching this video makes me glad that I live where I do, it also makes me feel bad for those that are not as lucky as myself and other students of colleges and universities. these students in South Africa's schools are not getting a proper education, the teachers sometimes do not show up, so in some cases the students will assume position and teach those who do not understand the material. It is also sad to know that there are so many out there with great ambitions for their lives and because of their poor education and understanding of subjects, they are failing and might not be able to reach their goals for life. It is good to see though there is a teacher that gets the kids engaged everyday  as a morning warm up to sing. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:06 PM

what i dont understand is how south africa can be on such an upward trend which motivation and nationalism but the rest of africa just refuses to get on the same track. the success of south africa and their constantly improving country should be motivation and a model for the rest of the continent.

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Rise of solar panel energy in Bangladesh


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Mr. Rodrigues's insight:

Green power has a far wider impact than just "promoting" the preservation of the planet - due to the fact that many, if not all, of the methods of green power generation and delivery leverage locally sourced power channels.

 

This is truly democratizing who "can have" power, and the impact it will have on them. In the past, generators used dirty sources of power such as fossil fuels, which not only cost money, but would ruin already impoverished areas with unchecked pollution.

 

By harnessing what they have access to, the Bangladeshi people are gaining the benefits of the power (longer hours of useable time) but also not damaging the one resource they did have: the Earth.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:32 AM

The fact that a Nation like Bangladesh which has such a high population and with it a high poverty rate is is turning to renewable energy is fantastic. While the production and implementation of these panels will be costly initially over time they will pay for themselves. To transport and distribute other forms of energy to so many people is not only logistically a nightmare but also incredibly expensive. By using solar energy their is a far greater chance a wider audience of people will have access to power. 

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:26 AM

I believe solar energy will help improve living in places such as Bangladesh. With solar energy, it can provide light at night, store food, and help to produce and cook food. Telecommunications would also be easier to access.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:28 PM

Because of the rise in solar power energy it is allowing what I would consider a dark country is so important is because it is allowing the people of the area to have a longer day. Most people would be at home in the dark but with this cheap and affordable government funded solar panel they are able to have a longer day and seem to be able to be healthier lifestyle as they are not left out in the dark and able to go to a pharmacy at all times. These solar panels can run up to two light bulbs for ten hours allowing life to continue whether its dark or not.