Gordimer: SA education in a shambles

2012-07-31 12:35
Nadine Gordimer (File, Sapa)

Nadine Gordimer (File, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Nobel literature prize winner Nadine Gordimer poured scorn on South Africa's education system on Tuesday as "a wreck" over the failure to deliver textbooks to thousands of public schools.

The scandal has caused a national furore after leaving more than 5 000 rural schools without textbooks for more than six months of the academic year in a damning measure of the country's schooling.

"Our education system is a wreck. It's a shamble. I can't believe that three-quarters of the year have gone by and so many of our schools, especially in the rural areas, have been without textbooks," said Gordimer, 88, on SAfm public radio news.

"It is the (education) minister's responsibility to see that the books are ordered in time and delivered. How can you teach people to read if there are no books to read from?"

President Jacob Zuma is facing increasing calls to fire Education Minister Angie Motshekga. On Monday, he said he was waiting for a final report from a team he appointed to investigate the debacle.

The education department was found to have violated students' rights to education after being taken to court and was ordered to remedy the situation.

But a probe revealed that 22% of schools in the northern Limpopo region were still without learning materials earlier this month despite a scramble by authorities to get the missing books to schools.

The criticism by Gordimer, who had several works banned by the apartheid regime, comes after peace laureate Desmond Tutu said democratic icon Nelson Mandela would be reduced to tears if he knew the poor state of public schools.

Education is South Africa's single biggest budget item, but schools are hobbled by poor management and low standards.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    angie motshekga  |  nadine gordimer  |  education  |  textbook saga

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

De Allende's star burns bright
Boks were 'in a dark space'
Pacific island teams singled out for rough tactics?
Ireland favourites but France bullish
Traffic Alerts

Passion is the name of the game. Love is not an intellectual study, but an experience from heart level. You have the tendency to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.