The second article by Dr., Mamphela Ramphele –“our children’s education stinks” The Star 27th June refers. It is so wonderful seeing the honesty and to the point accusations made by the doctor. Why are we not hearing from more leaders in South Africa who are prepared to speak out in similar vein? The doctor poses the questions “are we as citizens so underdeveloped that we are unmoved by the horrific statistics of failure to eliminate the no less than 40 mud hut schools in the Eastern Cape” She goes on about the lack of services in the schools such as classrooms, equipment, toilet facilities, lack of electricity, no water etc and asks quite rightly how we as citizens can avert our eyes and live in denial.
What is important to me is that the doctor states that “it will take action by each of us as citizens to put this crying shame behind us”. We have a need as parents, governing bodies, teachers or community members to assist in rebuilding the schools and developing a sense of belief in the future in all of our children. There is a need for communities to band together and put teams of experience people together who can assist in the rebuilding or repairing of schools and in developing an environment that is stimulating and encourages learning. The children can also become involved and assist the adults in the community – this will give them a sense of pride in their achievement.
What I also found of interest was the Doctors suggestion that local unemployed youth be trained and given artisan skills while working on projects at the various schools. Perhaps the youth subsidy being offered by government and the new job seekers grant could be used to pays such youth? In addition local business, the private sector and the building industry in particular as proposed by Dr., Ramphele could be roped in to assist. Here is a golden opportunity to create employment while at the same time addressing a huge and disgusting problem.
Finally as pointed out in the article the problem of supply chain management and lack of accountability in the public sector “stems from a culture of accountability by politicians and public officials who feel entitled to do business with the state for their own benefit” This attitude of entitlement pervades our society as a whole and unfortunately is becoming more and more apparent in our youth. This is creating a “potential time bomb” and unfortunately is being fuelled by politicians, youth movements and government officials. Instead of feeling entitled to anything it is time for the youth to take stock and ask what we can do to help. They must accept the world does not owe them a living – they actually owe the world something. Our youth must start behaving like responsible people – after all much of the damage that has been done to the schools was done by rioting youth.
Des Squire (Managing Member)
AMSI and ASSOCIATES cc
Morning Des, it is my first time responding to these discussions but I have always followed them with interest. It is true that youth need to be roped in especially when we want to address the problem of uneployment. The question is: Do our youth want that help? Are they willing to move away from the street corners where they loiter so much? Loitering has become such a comfort zone that they don't want to ge out of it. I have first hand experience of what I am talking about.
I feel that we must outlaw loitering first so that these kids will get bored from staying indoors and will end up seeking something meaningful to do.
Then we must create assembly points/pick-up points where the youth can come and whoever has a job or a skill to offer he comes to that point-This will be in reply to Dr Ramphele's suggestion to capacitating out youth.
I also read Cosatu's Ntai Mampane's article from the policy conference he has some points to be considered.
Tebogo I do agree with you but I also think that we need to stop dropping the standard of Education to make people pass. If they don’t make the grade then they have to redo it as simple as that. But no the answer always seems to be drop the standard.
Look at the Limpopo book scenario where the ANCYL has asked that students who did not get books just be given a pass because it is not their fault. I agree it is not their fault but how is no education and a free pass going to help them in the long run!
Look at all the police who failed their gun licenses … not take their guns away... but just drop the standard and let them pass! And we wonder why the police forces have so many issues. If we teach people properly the first time then you won’t have some of the issues we are facing now!
But that is my 5c any way!
Nice article Des!
Hi Denise, I agree with you fully on the issue of standard dropping; it will take us nowhere. Our youth bodies are not concentrating on what maaters most in their lives. The burning issue right now should be: What do we do to recover lost ground in educating those who had no books? I did my matric back in 1987 and it was tough because student bodies were very politically active, we were deeply aligned to UDF then but we wanted to get education as well, we had the slogan: "Each one teach one!" Those who were bright helped those who were struggling. I was not that bright but what I knew I passed on to those who came to me for help. Most of my peers went on to make a living for themselves.
My point is our youth need to want it to get it. Time for hand-outs is over and our parents need to push the kids to get them started.
An object will remain in its state unless an external force is exerted to either get it moving or change its course/ direction.
Thank you for both comments and congratulations on your personal insight. I love the statement that "the time for hand-outs is over and parents need to push the kids toi get them started"
Personally I fefl the kids also need to push themselves and start doing things for themselves. There are so many opportunities around them if they would just open their eyes and see them.
So very true! Yesterday I heard Charles Phahlane(The Bsic Education Spokesperson) saying that this year's winter school registrations are higher than last year's. It is a good indication that our kids are catching a wake up but is it enough? The reason why I mentioned parents is that; some parents still leave everything to the schools and the schools are overwhelmed as we speak. We need full participation on the basis of Teacher/Student/Parent involvement.
At times parents learn about their kids' struggles at school when it is almost too late to employ intervention measures. Some parents give their kids some much tuck money, the kids do not see a need to study as they have all they need; hence their title: Aboskhothane- Loosely translated it means the rich and the elite. These are small kids- our youth who need to be guided.