Education, then transformation

2017-03-19 06:02
(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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

Government policy interventions aimed at solving inequality would not produce results if the country’s dysfunctional education system wasn’t fixed.

This was what Stellenbosch University economics professor Servaas van der Berg told delegates at a two-day conference in Pretoria organised by the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development in the presidency’s department of planning, monitoring and evaluation in partnership with the EU.

Van der Berg was among academics and civil society groups who presented studies to policymakers on the National Development Plan agenda to reduce poverty and eliminate inequality by 2030.

The research work was supported by grant funding sourced through a partnership between government and the EU.

Van der Berg’s research, conducted with a 25-member team and titled Expanding Social Mobility Through Education, concentrated on social mobility and education, and reflected on the impact an unequal education system had on the labour market.

Van der Berg said the country had a dual education system and labour market.

“The majority of schools are of low quality. Teachers are demotivated. There is very little evidence showing they are improving. Top jobs in the labour market are fed by former Model C school learners,” he said in a presentation on Wednesday.

“No matter how government intervenes with social grants and black economic empowerment, that is not going to solve inequality in the labour market. Start with education.”

The study found that out of every 100 pupils entering the education system, 60 write matric, 37 pass, 12 access university, six complete their degrees and only four move on to land high-earning jobs.

Van der Berg said young black people, even if they were better qualified, did not have better employment prospects than the generation before them.

Asked about any impact had by Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, Van der Berg said: “We don’t know what we have there. The impression one gets is not positive. It does not seem to be targeted by employers. Most parents don’t want to send their children to TVET colleges. There are issues there and proper research is needed on TVET colleges.”

Van der Berg said matric was still an important factor considered by employers.

And although the country’s education system was well equipped compared with that of Swaziland, “learners there outperform South African children in Grade 6 by a year”.

The study also found that the influence of unions in the education system was identified among the problems needing to be resolved.

Other findings included that:

- By Grade 4, about 70% of pupils in poor schools perform below the international learning benchmark;

- By Grade 9, pupils in poor schools are two-thirds of a year behind their counterparts in former Model C schools;

- Degree holders earn three times more than matriculants;

- Pupils from weak schools earn much less than those from good schools; and

- The dualistic education system limits social mobility and perpetuates labour market inequality. It also perpetuates a “cycle of desperation”.

The study noted that the persistence of inequality was an indictment on the education system’s failure to overcome past injustices, despite the amount of money South Africa spends on education.

Van der Berg and his team noted that early interventions were crucial and there was a need to focus on getting reading right early in primary school.

Read more on:    education

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.