We need to improve the standard of education – fast


by Lia Marus

In a written reply to a parliamentary question tabled yesterday, basic education minister, Angie Motshekga, stated that nearly 12 million children are enrolled at public schools. Providing our youth with a decent education is the first step towards solving South Africa’s unemployment crisis, which means we have a duty to improve the standard of education in our country. Is this happening?

A couple of years ago a Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) education policy research project placed South Africa’s reading ability 10th out of 15 African countries, e.g. Mozambique and Zambia with Tanzania coming out with the best reading ability. We scored a bit better in terms of our mathematical ability, climbing up to the eighth spot out of the same 15 countries surveyed.

However, as South Africa has been dubbed the economic powerhouse of Africa, surely we should be scoring top marks in these educational surveys, considering that we will need skilled people to drive our economy?

There is one organisation – Partners for Possibility (P4P) – which has decided to take up the cause of trying to improve education in this country. This organisation partners business leaders with school principals so that these school heads can become change leaders in their schools and communities.

Many illustrious business heads – such as Bobby Godsell – have joined P4P and give 10 days a year to help the principal. Says Godsell: “It’s not just about doing good, it’s also about engaging with fellow South Africans. We won’t build a country by making each other feel guilty, we need to respect and learn to embrace each other.”

This article first appeared on HR Pulse.

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