In this file picture, a South African teacher is seen interacting in her classroom.
In this file picture, a South African teacher is seen interacting in her classroom.

Spare us the education efforts of this visionless minister and her sycophants

By Abu Bakr Solomons, Southfield Time of article published Sep 30, 2019

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Minister Angie Moshekga’s excitement about the “changes” we can expect to see in education fails to move. In fact, once again her vision articulated at the recent Sadtu Conference at Nasrec on September 26 predicts more gloom.

The current curriculum, the fourth since the change of government in 1994, has failed to even keep learners in the system. It’s been predicted in recent research studies that 60% of first learners won’t complete Grade 12 (SA Educational Journal, May 2017).

An honest analysis of this will reveal that it’s not the nature of the curriculum that is responsible.

The social problems teachers, learners and parents experience in schools and poverty-stricken conditions in communities play a major role. Why do most children who come from economically and socially strong backgrounds not drop out?

Surely the most important goal of any education and political system is to ensure that most children complete at least the 12 years of basic learning.

How will another curriculum change that social and educational reality? Minister Moshekga blames the “disruptive Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Superficially, it sounds trendy to make reference to these current buzzwords, but actually, it exposes the banality of Moshekga’s analyses. She proposes to establish more “focus schools”. That was tried a decade ago, millions were spent on upgrading selected schools and the project finally died an unceremonious death.

The most bizarre of Moshekga’s innovations is her plan to give the Grade 9 school-leaving certificate more status. Currently Grade 9 learners aren’t allowed to fail the grade twice.

How will changing the name of the certificate heighten its value?

As for her pipe dream that students exiting Grade 9 may “enter TVET colleges or the workplace of their choice”, does the woman have all her faculties in place? Many university graduates are currently unemployed.

In one sweeping statement, Mosh ekga declares the three R’s “obsolete”. Well, Minister Moshekga, many young learners have not mastered those basic skills in a very long time. So I don’t anticipate there will be thousands capable of studying “aviation studies”, since many have dropped out of studying maths and science and will continue to do so. Why?

Making the study of history compulsory in the FET Phase in the future is another ploy to inject fake patriotism into the minds of learners who are battling to acquire the basics needed to become competent, literate and numerate adults.

This conference reveals that Minister Moshekga and her entire coterie of visionless sycophants should be dismissed immediately. Paying for such incompetence is another layer of state capture.

* Abu Bakr Solomons, Southfield.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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