Minister of Basic Education has to be one of the most ignorant minsters South Africa has ever seen. I have always wanted to know what ministers think about their job and how much they really love it. Whenever they are asked questions they always give us “political correct” answers. Luckily, South Africa was able to see what Angie thinks of her department and millions of leaners overlooked by it.
In an interview with SABC Angie was all angry saying “ I’m not responsible for delivering Textbooks in Limpopo; I cant be blamed for that”. She went on to say that she is responsible for policy crafting. And then she said “ I don’t even know what is happening in classes”.
South Africa has a serious problem. An education minister admitting to the country that she does not know what is happening in classes. I would assume that she is supposed to know. With the Policies that she says she is responsible for; she should ensure that whatever happens in classes all around the country she is alerted.
By then again, who am I to say anything. I along with other million South Africans are victims of the same department that under some of our time in schools where under other administrative heads not Angie.
In South Africa this is what happens. The department of education with its ministers and MECs around the country even in Western Cape only realise that they have learners to look after when those learners are in Grade 12 (matric).
Their only concern is getting political points at the cost of us the learners. All provinces go into a fierce competition to get the highest passing rate. The competition is not at all bad, but it only proves to be disastrous
In 2011 the department got a 70,2% pass rate. But we should not be looking at that; The mathematics pass rate nationally in 2011 was 46,3%, down from 2010’s 47,4%. Accounting, physical science and other subjects continue to suffer. But provincial ministers don’t really care about that aslong as the overall pass rate is good and they top other provinces for political points.
Few learners pass matric and qualify for university (below 30% ). Others passed badly, and end up at home doing nothing not even able to get jobs.
Those that enter university suffer too believe me or not. Matric learners get too much support in Grade 12 only. They pass with flying colours; enter University and apply for hard-core Degrees.
They end up failing and being excluded from those faculties they applied in. This is the problem. In all universities in South Africa many drop outs happen in first years. This is because the departments prepare leaners for university when in matric.
Sadly, this is the problem that will continue for many years because ministers like Angie are not afraid to tell us that “they don’t know what is happening in class”. The head of a department does not want to take responsibility for the delivery of textbooks in provinces.
This week, Zuma appeared to shield Motshekga from criticism during his interview with Talk Radio 702. “You don’t know who’s responsible for that. You can’t say the minister, who is sitting in Pretoria in the office, is responsible,” the president said.
Look at what Zuma is saying. A “minister sitting in a Pretoria Office”. Is their job to seat in their offices? Aren’t they supposed to sometimes go out and see how these provinces are performing?
I’m no way blaming Angie for what is happening in Limpopo, but as a minister she was supposed to know of the crisis and worked with the province before she was served with court papers.
By: Esethu Hasane