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.
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?"
Via Seth Dixon