According to the Mail and Guardian in an April 2013 edition, South Africa ranked second last in the world in Maths and Science. Over and above this, education tends to get the lions share of the budget and so the question begs, what on earth is going on?
Education is something extremely close to my heart. I was privileged to be educated in one of the countries best schools and in my home my parents couldn't stress education enough. Education I was told would be the foundation for all my endeavours going into the future. I don't need to flog this horse because it is quite self evident. Yet it appears this hasn't really sunk in with the ANC since they were elected 20 years ago. Professor Jansen recently wrote an article in which he stated that our education would not improve until the government would accept the severity of the crisis that we have. Some critics would tell us that is not true due to the amount of money that is thrown at education...I would like to borrow an analogy that I heard earlier in the week to rebut this. If you type a document out and print it only to find that there were errors in the printing, nothing will fix that error unless you correct it at the source. You can buy a new screen, a new keyboard, mouse and even a new printer but the mistake will keep printing unless you fix it at the source. So we can throw as much money as we want into education but if the source doesn't change then I am afraid we are going to be stuck where we are.
When we take a look at education systems within the world, Japan recently ousted Finland as the worlds best education system for people between the ages of 3 and 25. I often wonder why we cant spend billions, which as a tax payer I would be happy to contribute towards, on asking these countries to help us set up systems like theirs within South Africa? Yes I know that our situation has many unique obstacles but nothing we couldn't overcome. I do realise that for some years we may not have great Matric results but at least the Matric's that are passing would have an excellent education. As the system rolls on through the years we will see that Matric pass rate improve and perhaps in 20 to 30 years we could also be within the top 10 for education. The knock on effect would be enormous in all sectors, especially the economy. Instead we throwing money in all the wrong directions...why on earth wouldn't the ANC want this to come right?
Then I remembered an interesting theory I heard by a guest speaker on TalkRadio 702, I regret I do not remember his name. He went on to explain how much the ANC stands to gain so long as the masses remain ignorant. He went as far as saying he believed the ANC to be deliberately stupefying the nation. Why would they do that? Well for the simple reason that ignorant uneducated masses are far easier to manipulate.
Some may say this is a stretch to believe but I still find myself to be unsure about it. The statement is certainly true that ignorant masses are easier to manipulate. The ANC has said some interesting things during elections such as voting for the opposition was like voting for the devil; or perhaps the one about the ancestors that would be displeased if they voted for someone other than the ANC. You also get the told that swimming pools are in fact fire pools and that chickens pose serious security risks and so they required coops. Coupled with some of the above as well as the blatant lack of acknowledgment of our education crisis leads me to wonder how true the statement could be.
Regardless of whether it's true or not, we have to do something urgently otherwise South Africa will find itself to truly be a nation of the ignorant masses. To ironically quote a famous ANC member and I man I will always look up to “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”