existing inequalities in south african education

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Daily Vox’s editorial policy. Their takes on the ‘back to school’ debate differ, but on one thing they agree: there are no easy answers when two crises collide. Meanwhile, in the affluent suburb of Newlands, Natalie reports that her children are ‘playing board games which will improve their math skills … their computer skills are improving from using Google classroom, they are learning to touch type, and they have kept up with practicing their musical instruments. Results from the 2015 Trends In International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) shows that only 48% of black Grade 3 learners pass mathematics, while 85% of white learners succeed in passing. How can we disrupt educational inequality? —dc A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. With public libraries closed, Assie reflects in Khayelitsha, those who ‘live in homes where the environment is not conducive for studying’ are likely to see their grades suffer. resources for higher education. The same colliding crises that put poorer residents at risk in the crisis also hamper attempts at recovery. There is, however, a much darker side to the inequality in schools across South Africa that goes far beyond below par pass rates and learner achievement. These debates have ricocheted through our Lockdown Diaries project, which draws together seventy participants from across Cape Town’s informal settlements, occupied buildings, townships and suburbs to reflect on the impacts of COVID-19 on everyday life. Those who can afford fee-charging schools are able to set their children on a trajectory of success. Before getting to the matric 2013 results, let me summarize some of the findings from the numerous studies highlighting South Africa’s ongoing educational inequalities: 1) The SACMEQ study of 2007 showed that there are huge geographic inequalities in the country with 41% of rural Grade 6 children being functionally illiterate compared to only 13% of urban grade 6 children. This inequality manifests in the extremely poor results produced by – mostly dysfunctional – schools across the country. We use cookies on this site to understand how you use our content, and to give you the best browsing experience. While access to education has been universally granted to each child in South Africa, the quality of the education has not been guaranteed, particularly for black children. The key insight from this discussion is that both more and better education is being demanded of the South African education system in order for it to become a more egalitarian force in the labour market and in general. As Esethu, from Khayelitsha, writes, ‘I believe that the government is gambling with the lives of our siblings because they will have to travel by public transport which on its own is a health risk.’. The quality of high school education in South Africa. Its impact is strongly felt by everyone across all sectors within and beyond South Africa. However, as Motsepe’s quote suggests, those returning to school would not be returning to a level playing field. Online education in Lebanon: Cementing existing inequalities. Since Lockdown was announced seven weeks ago, there has been much talk of an education crisis in the country, as young people on the economic margins have struggled without the resources to learn from home. You have entered an incorrect email address! The knowledge that these educators are able to pass down to their learners is rudimentary at best, thus fuelling the inequalities that already exist in learners’ attainment of educational outcomes. In South Africa the former President of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), for example, was able to promise university students that all education in South Africa would be free if the mines were nationalised 7, even though the arithmetic shows that this clearly would not be possible. Prince, R. (2018). Since Lockdown was announced seven weeks ago, there has been much talk of an education crisis in the country, as young people on the economic margins have struggled without the resources to learn from home. A number of existing drugs are also being tested for whether they can potentially treat Covid-19. HC .Z I . Education and state—South Africa. So where does this all leave the majority of children and young adults around the country who exit this dual schooling system that clearly continues to cater for the privileged whilst leaving the impoverished none the better? For Khaya, also in Khayelitsha, the problems stretch beyond the classroom: ‘in public schools they share utilities, bathrooms and even textbooks’, he explains. Attacks On EFF Are Attempts To Shrink Radical Politics In South…, Zindzi Mandela, And The Limits On Black Pain. South Africa suffers among the highest levels of inequality in the world when measured by the commonly used Gini index. The 2018 Quarterly Labour Force Survey reported a NEET (not in education, employment or training) rate of 39% for South African youth – that is 39% of youth in the country who have not found the light at the end of the tunnel. Indeed, South Africa did realise a rapid expansion of education, including increased enrolment, but the quality of education has remained poor and largely characterised by inequality. Yet, there are important misconceptions in some of the arguments about the chronic underfunding of education and social inequality as it affects ‘poor’ and ‘middle’ class access to higher education But … education have tended to increase inequality. Data from the study showed that almost 8 out of 10 South African children in Grade 4 cannot read for understanding. And it does a remarkable job of using government and survey data, along with detailed accounts of policy negotiation and reform, to explain why it is that the more things seems to change, the more they stay the same. Subscribe. Meanwhile, social distancing will be more attainable in affluent schools that have better infrastructure and more manageable class sizes. Piper, B. If young people are well educated more jobs can be filled and unemployment rates will drop. As an obviously unequal country, South Africa provides an excellent opportunity to test the claim that even with large quantitative differences in achievement, qualitative differences will matter. What’s more, children who come from these backgrounds often do not have the family support to carry them through their vital years of schooling. Our paper begins by identifying the current situation regarding inequalities in higher education access by wealth and gender across countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which are furthest from achieving the new goal, drawing on recent data from Demographic and Health Surveys in 35 countries. To find out more about cookies and change your preferences, visit our, Everyday support in lockdown shows Cape Town is a city of many stories. A study carried out by the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) in 2007 showed that South African Grade 6 teachers with high disciplinary knowledge in mathematics are largely employed in top performing schools. The South African Education Department has worked to make its public education system fairer for two decades. The government needs to act fast by amending policies and restructuring schools before we tread further down this dark path. South Africa is a land of hope, opportunity and most glaringly, a land of stark inequality. To accept cookies, click continue. It is clear that fee-paying schools drive the inequality wedge even further between the majority of black learners and other races who are privileged enough to be attending well-resourced, fee-charging schools. Reflect, having enough space to live, let alone learn, difficult... 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