SA education a sinking ship: Ramphele

By Drum Digital
25 October 2012

Mamphela Ramphele has compared the state of education in South Africa to a sinking ship

, Beeld reported on Thursday.

Speaking at the third congress of teacher's union Naptosa in Benoni on Wedesday, Ramphele, the founder of the Citizens Movement, an organisation that lobbies for social change, used the example of the Italian passenger ship the Costa Concordia, where the captain slept while his ship was wrecked.

Like Captain Francesco Schettino, who was the first to leave the sinking ship, so were the government officials, who ensured that their own children were brought to the safety of private schools, she said.

Just as Captain Schettino tried to conduct his rescue operation from the safety of the shore, so were the government officials attempting to manage the crisis in education from a distance, she said.

Teachers in schools were acting as "ambulance men" to save pupils, she told delegates.

According to Ramphele, it was time for South African parents and pupils to insist on their rights.

"I'm not just talking about the text books. Vacant teacher's posts must be filled, and not just filled for the sake of being filled - we need experts and specialists."

-by Sapa

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