File picture: Baba Jiyane / GCIS
File picture: Baba Jiyane / GCIS

Rotten state system exposed that exists in large swathes of SA

By Opinion Time of article published Jul 25, 2020

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Schools are closing - again. For the matrics, literally in the final part of their final chapter of secondary education, it’s only for a week - for the rest it’s a three-week hiatus. At best the academic year for them will be delayed, at worst it’s a write-off.

It’s a highly emotive subject for parents, already facing immense pressures; for the learners themselves, some of whom rely on school for their only meal and indeed haven from domestic tension; and, for the teachers themselves, many of whom are scared of becoming infected.

Some schools have used the enforced hiatus of the lockdown to move online and continue teaching, but others haven’t.

Some teachers are unwilling to return - despite being on full pay - and have actively canvassed parents.

In other instances, vandals have torched schools, preventing any teaching from taking place whether the educators and their charges wanted to or not.

The biggest problem is that the government seems to have ignored the advice of its scientists who are convinced that the risk of children at school is a fraction of the risk of allowing taxis to transport passengers at 100% capacity.

If this is the case, then political opportunism has trumped scientific pragmatism, especially if many children will still report to school to be fed, yet not be taught.

If our education system is unfit for purpose, Covid-19 merely exposed the rotten state system – corrupt, dysfunctional and inept – that exists in large swathes of our country.

The government appears to have done nothing over the last 121 days to address this; instead it has pandered to the interests of a highly influential lobby.

In the process, the yawning gulf between those dependent on the state and those who can afford to buy their way out has just become even more insurmountable.

Saturday Star

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