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Put teacher development first - Education - Mail & Guardian Online - 1 views

    South Africa produced more engineers than schoolteachers in 2009, which suggests that education planning and priorities need urgent revision.
Teachers Without Borders

Broken schools breed S.Africa's 'lost generation' - TrustLaw - 0 views

  • Despite pouring billions of dollars into education, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has little to show for its money except for public primary schools regarded as among the worst in the world and millions of students destined for a life in the underclass.

    "If you don't have an education, you don't have a chance in life," said Netshiozwe, who is unemployed with little prospect of finding regular work. She and her HIV-infected aunt live together and scrape by on about $100 a month in welfare benefits.

    Nearly half of South Africa's 18 to 24 year olds -- the first generation educated after apartheid ended in 1994 -- are not in the education system and do not have a job, according to government data.

    Academics have called this group the "lost generation" and worry it will grow larger unless the government fixes a system riddled with failing schools, unskilled educators and corruption that stops funding from reaching its intended destinations.

  • Corruption eats away at money. Teachers are poorly trained and challenged by a constantly shifting curriculum. Schools are often shut by teachers' strikes.
  • Once almost exclusively white, universities now reflect the racial composition of the country with more people from groups disenfranchised by apartheid climbing the ladder with a degree or diploma.

    But at the same time, the number of people living in poverty has changed little since apartheid ended, with no remedy in sight given the structural problems in education.

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  • Hundreds of schools do not have electricity or running water and absenteeism has become such a concern that President Jacob Zuma has begged teachers to show up for classes.

    A study by graft watchdog Transparency International last year pointed to massive local level corruption resulting in millions of students not having desks, chairs or books.

  • This month, the central government said Limpopo, which has recorded some of the country's worst results in standardised testing, had unauthorised expenditure of 2.2 billion rand ($275 million). The province had more than 2,400 teachers on the payroll, including 200 "ghost teachers" who were not in classrooms but were still paid.
  • A cosy relationship between the ANC and organised labour, formed in their partnership against apartheid, has hampered apprenticeship programmes.
Teachers Without Borders

IRIN Africa | SOUTH AFRICA: Poor marks for education | South Africa | Children | Educat... - 0 views

  • CAPE TOWN, 11 May 2011 (IRIN) - Instead of providing much needed opportunities, South Africa’s ailing education system is keeping children from poor households at the back of the job queue and locking families into poverty for another generation.
  • The study, "Low Quality Education as Poverty Trap", found that the schooling available to children in poor communities is reinforcing rather than challenging the racial and economic inequities created by South Africa’s apartheid-era policies.
  • The government allocated R190 billion (US$28 billion) or 21 percent of its 2011/12 budget to education, but 80 percent is spent on personnel and the remainder is not enough to supply thousands of schools in mainly poor areas with basic requirements like electricity and textbooks.
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  • Yet the top 20 percent of state schools - which largely correspond to historically white schools and charge fees to compensate for insufficient public funding - enjoy adequate facilities and attract the best teachers.
  • When seen in regional context, South Africa grossly under-performs, given that it has more qualified teachers, lower pupil-to-teacher-ratios and better access to resources," the report on the study noted.
  • many teachers had received an inferior education as a result of apartheid's "Bantu" education system, which was deliberately designed to disadvantage black learners and only ended in 1994 when a new democratic government came into power.
  • "The focus needs to be on teachers' development," said Cembi. "We've had changes in the curriculum since the new [post-apartheid] era, but we find not much focus on training teachers."
  • n recent years, SADTU has called for the reopening of training colleges because the shortage of teachers has meant that some schools in poor and rural areas have had to hire individuals who do not meet the official requirement of holding a teaching diploma.
  • Her view was backed up by the Stellenbosch study, which identified the lack of regular and meaningful student assessments and feedback to parents as another major weakness in the education system.
  • The researchers found that the job prospects of school leavers were determined not only by the number of years of education attained, but the quality of that education.
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