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Beckie Knight
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Wanted: Spell-checker for a British school’s teachers

08 December 2012, 11:22

This was a headline in Britain’s International Express newspaper (28th November). I seriously had to rub my eyes and clear my throat! Was I reading correctly? Yes! Wanted: Spell-checker for a British school’s teachers.

If some schools in Britain are hiring spell-checkers and proofreaders, this country of ours is in for terrible, terrible trouble!

I just don’t get it! When I was in school, if one word was spelt incorrectly, in any paper (not just English spelling!), we’d have to re-write that word, correctly, one hundred times until we could rattle it off perfectly! And yes, there were 25 to 30 pupils in a class. Excuse me but I’m so mad! What the hell is going on with our education system? What? Pupils are failing, left, right and centre; getting 13% for maths; they can’t spell properly, read properly or write properly, even! Why is this? Is there anyone out there with some answers and solutions to this pathetic, stinking, disgusting state of affairs?

This is serious, people! It’s bad enough ex-inmates have been running this country – now, future generations and future leaders won’t even be able to hold a decent conversation or even read one! I genuinely hope there are still some decent brains in our failing country, brains that will be able to take a stand and do something positive.

Parents are working their butts off to pay for their children’s education and what the hell are they getting in return? I’m not talking about government ministers who send their children to private schools - I’m talking about lower and middleclass South Africans whose children attend public schools.  That department goes on and on and on, talk, talk, talk, filling up the department with more employees, writing up more reports, pretending that text books will be delivered on time – you all know the rest…

The Department of Basic Education’s slogan is: Every Child is a National Asset. Really? These people should be bloody-well ashamed of themselves – ashamed, I say! There are nine provincial education offices in this country – why are they not functioning correctly? Maybe people aren’t really interested and simply want a salary at the end of the month?

The Department of Basic Education is divided into units, referred to as “Branches.” Each branch, headed by a deputy director-general, is further sub-divided into chief directorates. The chief directorates are also sub-divided into a number of directorates (DoE Website). Our education minister is weak as well as what’s-her-name, Barbara someone. Just how many adults are running this entire education department? No doubt, they’re all getting paid a fortune, no doubt but once again, what are they getting paid to do? If the department’s motto is: Every Child is a National Asset, then they’d better hurry on up and start finding ways, immediately, to fix the grim mess they’ve made. Eighteen years is a long time in anyone’s book. Why are their so very many illiterates in this land?

I don’t have any answers because us little Mickey Meeces aren’t even listened to or taken any notice of. Who’s going to fix it? Parents can’t, teachers can’t and the department certainly can’t, so, who?

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