Time to put education first

2010-09-18 09:44

Every year South Africa’s poor matric results paint a dismal picture of the state of our public schooling system. This year will be no different.

Most worrying at this point is that the very ­organisations that are supposed to have the best interests of learners at heart are the ones causing the most harm.

Cosas’s call for school disruptions over the postponement of preliminary and finals exams this week is one such example.

Another is the bickering between government and the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union about overtime pay and other issues – this just 35 days before ­final exams are due to start.

The class of 2010 cannot afford any more ­delays after an extended World Cup holiday and the public sector strike.

Sadly, the biggest casualties will be the armies of pupils who will add to the tens of thousands who will fail matric this year.

Education is the one weapon that the majority of these young minds have to break the cycle of poverty.

At this rate, however, the poorest kids forced to attend township and rural schools will never catch up to their more fortunate counterparts at former Model C schools, never mind the privileged, who are able to access world-class private education.

It’s time for selfless compromise on the part of key ­education stakeholders to lead the way ... now!

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