Education overhaul needed, says Zille

2012-09-17 19:36
Helen Zille (Volksblad)

Helen Zille (Volksblad)

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Johannesburg - An education overhaul is needed to overcome social inequalities inherited from apartheid, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Monday.

"So long as our deep, deep inequalities in education still exist, we will never redress the economic injustices of apartheid. Simple as that," Zille said in a speech prepared for delivery at the University of Cape Town.

Government had damaged the education system by implementing curriculum innovations which had failed in other more advanced countries.

It had also lost some of the most experienced teachers through voluntary severance packages.

"Having destabilised the system so profoundly, we should not be surprised that pouring money into it did nothing to improve outcomes," she said.

While money was important, good management and corruption-free administration were necessary to ensure it was used wisely.

"At the moment, our divided economy leaves millions of people feeling like democracy has left them behind. They are increasingly angry, and it is beginning to test the limits of our social harmony, with some violent and tragic results."

Zille took a swipe at South Africa's labour law on the matter of dominant unions.

"To go further, we will need to deal with the monopoly power that the ironically named SA Democratic Teachers' Union exercises over the system," Zille said.

At present, whichever union represented more than half of staff members was the only recognised union. As such, it represented all the employees, including members of other unions.

"It is like saying that if the ANC won 51% of the vote, all other parties would cease to exist and the ANC would become the only party in Parliament, filling every seat," Zille said.

"In that context, every one of us would recognise it as an unacceptable one-party state, but we accept the same situation in our labour law. It is absurd."

Read more on:    sadtu  |  da  |  anc  |  helen zille  |  education

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