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The Challenges Of South Africa’s Education System

Education System in South Africa

South Africa’s education system was ranked 133rd out of 142 countries in the world by the World Economic Forum. Dreams to Reality aims to make a difference by encouraging volunteers to assist teachers when signing up for one of our programs.

The biggest challenges facing education are:

  1. Children are coming out of school without the the 3 basic R’s of education that is the ability to read, wRite and aRithmetics

  2. South African teachers do not have the basic pedagogic and content knowledge competencies needed to impart the skills needed by our learners.

  3. Resources are being used in a non efficient manner with little accountability and transparency.

  4. Inadequate organizational support to teachers and  bureaucracy in the educational department.

  5. Constant shift in South Africa’s educational curriculum

  6. Failure of the Education Departments to deliver on their core responsibilities.

  7. South African learners do not have a culture of reading and a lack the motivational push to learn from their community and families

  8. Teacher late-coming, absenteeism and an inability to enact the basic functions of teaching are endemic in many South African schools

  9. Power  dynamics at play between a seemingly all-powerful teachers’ union (SADTU) and the State

  10. Lack of basic amenities, infrastructure and learning resources in South African  townships and rural schools

  11. Many learners in South African townships and rural areas come from families affected by poverty, hunger and parents with little or no education themselves.

  12. A lost generation of learners who are not educated nor working because of the state of South Africa’s education system.

The solution:

  1. Early in the schooling system the focus should be on producing learners who can read, write and count.

  2. Reopen teacher training colleges since they provided a focused approach in the development of teachers and instill a sense of pride among teachers and teaching in general.

  3. Put in place internal controls to increase accountability, transparency of the learning process and the use of resources towards education at all government levels and in the classroom.

  4. Dedicated focus in improving the resources and infrastructure in township and rural schools

  5. Celebrate South Africa’s entrepreneurs and learned academic success, conduct career guidance counseling at an early age.

  6. Stability in the South African education curriculum by involving all stakeholders in developing an effective curriculum for South Africa.

  7. Introduce adult education programs, libraries and career guidance programs in South African townships and rural areas to encourage a culture of reading among learners and their families.

  8. The Department of education should ensure rapid filling of vacant posts and efficient handling of disciplinary cases, or the support of teacher development

  9. The government should take political control of the education system and depoliticize unions in the education sector.

  10. National program to equip the supply of learning materials, the provision of libraries, toilets, repair of windows and leaking roofs, maintenance of desks and infrastructure in South African rural and township schools.

  11. Provide bursaries, school feeding programs, life orientation programs and counseling programs to learners in rural areas and townships

  12. Open vocational training centers and out of school programs to improve the skills of South Africans who are not in school and not working .

You can make a difference by volunteering as a teachers assistant and helping the children with the foundation of education.

A proper education has the potential to increase the employability or  income generating capacity of South Africa’s majority poor thereby enabling them to be employed or be entrepreneurs in their own right mitigating on the high inequality levels in South Africa.


One Response to "The Challenges Of South Africa’s Education System"

  • Kurt Linnett
    September 4, 2013 - 2:57 am Reply

    I agree with above. We need to change things. Albert Eistien defined insanity as doing the same things over again while expecting a different result. The cycle can only be broken if we break it. South African rely too much on the government for change and if nothing happens they become our “scapegoats”.

    It’s time for us to decide what we would like our future to be like; the type of South Africa that we would like to see and then join hands (moving in the same direction) going forward.

    Our children learn from us and from what they see us liking. If we are not readers then they will not enjoy reading. We lead by example not by our complaints. The drive of our country is to make money but we are doing it at the expense oif our children. The more money we make, the more the value of the Rand drops, the less of a future our children has to look forward to.

    If our priorities change, we will have more wealth than money could ever provide, in a future that our children can look forward to.

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