The Limpopo text book saga and law graduates who cannot debate or express themselves adequately in writing represent just the tip of the poor education iceberg that our titanic nation is steadily navigating towards. The depth of the problem starts in the homes. Parents have handed the reigns to the government.
How many parents know what their children are doing in school daily? How many parents take the time daily to sit and listen to their children practice their reading in the evening instead of watching the latest episode of Generations? How many parents bother teach their children the times table? Most people, regardless of our mathematical aptitude can do times table all the way to 10.
The first outcry or excuse from working parents would be that they arrive home late from work and have to get up early and thus the focus is on early dinner, a bit of relaxation in front of the telly and then off to bed by 9:00pm so that they can get up at the crack of dawn to get to work on time.
If parents can put aside their personal time for the sake of their children’s education so can many more. It does not even require too much time. From experience all it takes for one child to read out their work out loud their reading homework is a mere 10 minutes. This can be achieved even while parents are preparing dinner! Try it! Parents are only too ready to be seen to be contributing in their communities to the detriment of their children’s well being.
If your children are proficient with their times table, it makes it easier for them to grasp other mathematical concepts because the foundation has been laid, by you. You have given your child something for keeps. Help your children with the basics, the foundation, and teachers will see to the rest.
If you make no time to listen to your child reading out loud, you are teaching them not to care about their education or worse, to be afraid to heard as if what they want to say has no value. They begin to think they don’t matter. By listening to them you are preparing them for the future or they will become victims of those who can speak the loudest.
The other excuse is that what the children are learning now is different from the parents themselves learnt. What rubbish! The maths of today is still the same as that of the time of Jesus 2000 years ago and before. The answer to ‘1 plus 1’ is, has been and will always be 2! The other truth is that until a certain age, children believe and whatever their parents teach them. Let it be worthwhile lessons.
Getting back to Limpopo - what I fail to understand is why and how it took an entire half of the education year for someone to realise that learners had no text books. If they had noticed earlier, what did they do to fix it? Did they bring this to the attention of the provincial education authorities; did they make photocopies of last year’s books, etc.?
We all know that expecting the government to teach our children and properly prepare them for a bright future is never going to happen. In your small ways as parents you can do a lot for your children’s education, especially during grade 1 to 7, considering that most of us are products of Bantu education and can’t help much at high school level.
The message is that we all have the power to help our children, so let us use it! Our children look to us for guidance, let us do right by them so that they can do right by us when the time comes. They did not apply to be born, we brought them here and they are primarily our responsibility and not the ‘government’s’!
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.