Violence, education system linked – John Kani

2013-07-07 08:19

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

There is a connection between South Africa’s scourge of violent crime and an education system that doesn’t encourage self-examination and empathy, dramatist John Kani has said.

Giving a talk entitled “Speaking Truth to Power” during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this week, Kani advocated for art education in schools.

Arguing that the school curriculum should not just promote maths, science and commercial subjects, he said: “Art is able to reach into the human soul and help us see ourselves better in relation to the outer world.”

Kani criticised South Africa’s education system for producing well-trained robots and not cultivating human beings. “What do I do with my son who hates education?” he asked.

Kani went on to paint a picture of a generation of children who wake up in the morning because they are scared of their parents and teachers, not out of love of education.

He went on to lament challenges like the phenomenon of unemployed graduates. Kani pointed out that “there must be something wrong with the content of our higher education that fails to prepare our children for life after university”.

He took shots at the FET college system too: “I didn’t pass but at least I can go to some college and learn to become nothing,” he said in dramatised fashion, before reminding the audience that it was the responsibility of the nation to educate its children, not the other way around.

As the debate heated up, with audience members sharing opinions about the government’s failures, Kani made a case for using art as a political tool.

He mentioned the protest art movement of the 1980s and the 1970s community theatre movement as examples of art engaged in politics of change.

He didn’t absolve audience members from sharing the responsibility. “As we talk of a need for inspired leaders and teachers, we must talk of inspired parents and inspired learners,” he said.

» Kani was at the festival to direct the play The Island, about life on Robben Island.

Join the conversation! 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. 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

Traffic Alerts
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 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.