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Children may be better off leaving school and joining a gang, says independent education specialist Graeme Bloch.
That way they would be assured of some training, a lot of hard work, and a chance to earn a good income and respect in their communities.
Bloch made the tongue-in- cheek comments while addressing the media before the Africa Education Week conference next month.
He asked why pupils should be expected to stay in school when there was little chance of their getting a job when they left.
“Quite frankly, they’d probably be better off joining a gang.
“Because you are going to be trained there in how to disarm burglar alarms, you are going to work hard, they are going to be monitored at 5 o’clock in the morning when they’re outside our gate, they’ll be monitored in the evening. And at the end of it you’ll earn a damn good income and probably a lot of respect in the community.
“Let’s find the gang schools, because they are doing very well.”
Bloch added that there was much he could say about the many problems facing education. He regarded these as a national crisis.
He said it was fortunate that the Department of Basic Education had acknowledged the issues it faced.
“We are not getting the basics right.”
Bloch said there was a racial dimension – a white pupil had a 60 percent chance of going to university while a black pupil had a 12 to 15 percent chance.
“That’s not sustainable and that’s not fair in a democracy where we’re supposed to be equal.”
Kobus van Wyk, head of e-learning at Mustek, said he would speak at the conference about how schools could use technology to improve results.
He said there was a lack of understanding about the importance of technology for schools.
“The decision-makers do not understand the value and power of technology.”
The sixth annual African Education Week, with 2 500 people attending and 80 experts speaking on basic and higher education and technology, is on July 2-4 in Joburg.