Education is more than book learning. A self evident statement one would assume. The ability to regurgitate a certain number of black on white squiggles in the same sequence as originally printed on paper or nowadays displayed on a screen, with the objective of obtaining another piece of de-constructed wood, also imprinted with squiggles, which upon deciphering proves that the holder was able to do as earlier said, surely cannot be said to be an education.
Does education vary in degree, and is it the total sum of all learning, experience, the ability to apply the previous two and the ability to use education to further acquire education? Hence the saying that one continues to learn as one gets older. Which presupposes that some stop learning or acquiring education.
My father’s total and fanatical obsession with the idea that such a piece of paper will be the holy grail for me, led me to discover a world of differing political views, that there is pigmentation difference between black, white, coloured and Indian people but this does not necessarily extend to political viewpoints, that small quantities of cheap wine fortified by ethyl alcohol is financially much more effective than large quantities of expensive wines, and that on occasion the world’s finest alternative to tobacco was arguably to be found on the fields of Natal or Swaziland (citation needed).
I also learned that the female gender has nipples instead of black stars, that the undisguised substitute served as nutrition in a holding cell, is equivalent to eating sawdust mixed with cement, that cars are heavier than motorbikes and do not stop as quick either and that humour, sleeping late and a wide interest in many unrelated subjects are poor substitutes for studying.
In other word I was a perfectly normal student escaping from a perfectly normal, patriarchal, Calvinistic, middle class, middle income, white family, ignorant of the real world thus dependant on what was presented via Die Landstem, later called Rapport. This newspaper then was a real guiding light in Man’s search for Meaning in a Communist, supported by the Swart Gevaar beleaguered country.
In parenthesis, I should mention that I also discovered that the Holy Grail was discovered by Monty Python, although my children pointed out my lack of research and education during later years, when irrevocable proof was presented that Harrison Ford found it during his Last Crusade. As seen on the big screen, in a documentary of the same name.
My father was, according to current doctrine, advantaged. I, who finally scraped together some learning, have had a lifelong declining relationship with my bank manager. This dysfunctional relationship has been worse than the one with a certain corporal in the Army. The Army (then), did not tolerate grovelling and prostrating oneself on the ground, except as a prelude to push ups, leopard crawling or sending 7.62 ball downrange.
With my book learning, car, job, house and middle income, perpetually in debt, burgled 6 times and 12 hour workday (when I still had a job), I led an advantaged lifestyle. Did I mention the knife against my daughters throat in exchange for her cellphone?
I could unfortunately not, as some whites did, participate in the micro creation of legal wealth as a result of the payment of insurance policies subsequent to the death of paternal or maternal relatives, thus being able to keep the bank manager of my ass. (It also would not have done anything for keeping that idiot corporal of my ass.)
Anyway, to come back. Until 20 years ago, We had it easy and plush as was our right, as determined by our pigmentation challenged epidermis, and decreed by the Nationalist government. The lack of absorption of any of the many rainbow colours hidden in sunlight proves irrevocably that I am “white” (although genetic analysis will prove otherwise).
Obviously that makes me eligible for the category of people that the AA/ EE / BBBEE laws are aimed at i.e. The Previously Advantaged Individuals. This puts me diametrically opposite the PDI (Previously Disadvantaged Individual), who should now be protected by law, from further exploitation by the PAI.
Could I thus please be forgiven and not be considered presumptuous for asking:
When a PDI gets a degree, why is s/he not now classified as advantaged?
When a PDI gets a job, why is s/he not now classified as advantaged?
When a PDI gets a house, why is s/he not now classified as advantaged?
When a PDI gets a car, why is s/he not now classified as advantaged?
When a PDI gets a government post, why is s/he not now classified as advantaged?
When a PDI gets a seat on the company board, why is s/he not now classified as advantaged?
When a PDI gets to become a Minister or President, why is s/he not now classified as advantaged?
When will the government discover that the average poor man could not care about past, current or future [dis]advantaged people, as the employment status of 9% of the population does not matter to an empty stomach or the poor with unfulfilled expectations? But that the willingly offered expertise of the said 9% (the bit that is left over), could matter? And that hungry people of all colour, react the same.
Or should one believe that Bantu Education was after all not so bad, and all the answers are with the CAI (Currently Advantaged Individuals)?.....
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