Education 'worse than under apartheid'

2012-03-23 07:27

Johannesburg - South Africa's education system is worse today than the "gutter education" the country had under the apartheid government, says academic and struggle heroine Mamphela Ramphele.

"Maths literacy... what is that? It's worse than the arithmetic I did under Bantu education," The Star quoted Ramphele as saying.

She was addressing the sixth annual Solomon Mahlangu lecture at the University of Johannesburg.

Ramphele criticised the much praised matric pass rate and said it was deceptive, consigning thousands to a life that promised neither further education nor employment.

She lashed out at the 30% pass benchmark, saying it degraded education standards and was used for political purposes.

"Kader Asmal [former education minister] fell for micropolitics when, under his watch, a 40% pass rate suddenly became 70%."

Ramphele also criticised the 70.2% pass rate achieved by last year's matriculants.

"There was a great razzmatazz about the 'historic' 70.2%, but this performance was deceptive - less than 500 000 people showed up to write their matric exams; 539 102 students [who were in Grade 1, 12 years prior] disappeared from the system. The department of education must tell us what happened to those children."

  • Marion - 2012-03-23 07:35

    Viva Mamphela Ramphele. Viva. People who would have been subjected to the old education system should be highly offended that the quality of their education dropped even more after the ANC got into power. The standards in those schools should have been raised to the same as the 'privileged white' schools. To lower it as they did implied that blacks were not capable of achieving those standards. Major insult in my opinion.

      Willem - 2012-03-23 07:42

      But instead of trying to raise the standard of government schools they would rather drag private schools down to their level. They do not realise that it is a race and not a fun walk with the slowest person at the back.

      Squeegee - 2012-03-23 07:58

      Wow, an honest statement about education. Now watch them squirm and justify - and blame Aparheid, of course.

      NrGx - 2012-03-23 08:06

      awesome, someone standing up to the lies of the government. But watch, this brave woman will just be labeled "a puppet of the west" or something along those lines.

      Trevor - 2012-03-23 08:06

      I am colored, I hated singing the Stem, I hated apartheid gutter education, but what is happening now, is worst. You cant call this new curriculum education. every year they spend millions changing it to please those that cant keep up.

      Mike - 2012-03-23 08:13

      I completely agree, we are fast heading to a zimbabwe franchise, their education system under Ian Smith was world class, now its a total shambles, and sa is going the same. How many matric pass people have i met that are so dam incompitent that they cant read the simplest words. Vote anc for change! change alright, it all changes from good to worse but the sadest part is the millions that keep voting them in are kept so stupid and dont see whats really happening.

      Pythagoras - 2012-03-23 08:16

      This country is dysfunctional! There is simply no other word for it! It's not just the education that is worst now, it's everything! Crime, unemployment, poverty, living cost! The whole f%^king lot is worst!

      jus.manning - 2012-03-23 08:19

      The knock on effect of lower standards, are the lower standards we are forced to accept in the working world. The younger generation coming into industry are not up to scratch to take over from the older generation.

      NrGx - 2012-03-23 08:22

      @Mike - so true, I have have had many applications from recent matrics for work only to find out upon interviewing them, they can hardly read or write, let alone simple calculations. I CANNOT hire them, they will be a liability to the company rather than a human capital investment. I am all for hiring and training them up, but they need to have the basics, I dont have time (or the energy) and resources to teach them how read, write and calculate. Its a damn shame that they believe their matric certificate means anything if they still cant read or write. And to those who say but they would do better in their home language, I say, this is business, and business is done predominately in english, and your command of english has to be good enough for the business world to take you seriously.

      James - 2012-03-23 08:24

      @poloyatonki, you need to recheck your facts and figures. during the apartheid era, more was spent on ' bantu ' education than on 'white' education. And now finally cerain officials ,along with many private individuals, are clicking to the fact that not all was bad. Yes there were some very disturbing things that happened that cannot be condoned, however education was always at the forefront.

      Sean - 2012-03-23 08:26

      Well as wrong as aprtheid was, here is a simple but astounding fact. When the racist NP were in charge, our eductaion system was ranked # 5 in the world. Under the beloved cANCer system, we are now ranked 57 in the world. Fact # 2, us white folk only had to pass a SG or HG matric, but coloureds,blacks and Indians had to pass a JMB exam which was harder to obtain. So yes Mr Minister, you are correct. Our education system is a cockup. The real question is, what are you going to do about it.

      Deon - 2012-03-23 08:26

      @ Trevor. Good comment - now follow it through by not voting for the clowns that are destroying our education, even if you have to vote for the big bad whiteys !

      Deon - 2012-03-23 08:27

      Poly the country had more educated black leaders during apartheid than now. Bantu education did exist. Fort Hare university was active for many years in producing black leaders.

      Ian - 2012-03-23 08:28

      yeah can you imagine, higher grade calculus and science in those schools, this anc would have a heart attack, but hell they got em where they want them, uneducated and living in poverty

      Bryan - 2012-03-23 08:32

      Wow... well said Madam! Finally someone with some credence stands up to tell things just the way they are..., unfortunately the ANC government will find some bulls**t excuse to dupe the masses with into believing the constant rush of drivel coming from the mouths of the hierachy..!!

      Ian - 2012-03-23 08:33

      @Willem, thank goodness it did not happen, Private school pass rate for higher grade subjects is still 60%+, not 25% or whatever the hell it is in anc run schools

      grenville.felton - 2012-03-23 08:37

      Well said All But who going to take notice not the ANC and Gov so its futile. Only people that can can it is the youth and a Change of Gov current Gov are so fu....... stupid only know about fraud and corruption and how they and there families can gain this is a reason why the info bill was shunted through. Its always been ANC policy to down grade the youth education.

      Vuyo - 2012-03-23 08:40

      Maybe we should fire all those Blacks who qualified during the Bantu Education days , including her . She says they got mediocre education .

      Bob - 2012-03-23 08:40

      Poly, have you not noticed you are in the minority, there is only you and that Troll, Sganja, and a few others with your mindset, it's time to wake up and see the light, your wonderful ANC is stuffing this country, the services and citizens up on a daily basis, and you and the like's of you continue to give them support, scarey.

      Nkulekweni - 2012-03-23 08:44

      Again Marion you are a rare voice of reason.

      Bibi - 2012-03-23 08:51

      @Poly: go and read your history books again. And this lady has more struggle credentials than the whole government put together!

      Susan - 2012-03-23 09:00

      Poloyatonki what are you smoking? Did Nelson Mandela buy his law degree? Are you really falling for these kind of stories "Blacks were not allowed to study" Sigh....

      Merven - 2012-03-23 09:01

      How dare Mamphela say things like this!!! She is counter revolutionary! Bloody agent of the Apartheid Regime!! I'm still waiting for Mandela to comment on the current ANC led government. Now, that will be priceless!

      Omrisho - 2012-03-23 09:21

      oh poly... the apartheid government treated you like slaves, maybe so, but the current government treat you like fools... and that is very sad. this whole sub-standard education thing is starting to bite south africa in the butt. yes marion, an insult indeed, just wish the majority of young students today could see that for what it is.

      Mike - 2012-03-23 09:26

      @tshepo, oh wow, the education system is doing wonders for you, firstly, its 'she' not 'he', know the difference, it could save your life one day, and your spelling of simple words is world class. I dont condone bantu education or apartheid at all, i went to a private school in the 80's which was mixed with ALL races and was raised to beleive that ALL races are equal, most of us whites are not opposed to blacks being in power or being educated or leading or anything, we are opposed to the way government is stuffing up a country. Wake up! Before its too late and you all start running to Botswana and namibia as refugees.

      nkulekweni - 2012-03-23 09:32

      Tshepo why do you assume that DR Ramphele is male. There mere fact that you do not know about her..says a lot about our current education system. At the very least under the ANC government our children should be taught accurate history.

      Vitor - 2012-03-23 10:25

      Yo Polonyatonki! Here is some of the attendees and graduates that came through Fort Hare University. You say no education under apartheid?? Govan Mbeki - South African politician, Yusuf Lule - Interim president of Uganda 1979, Kaiser Matanzima - President of bantustan Transkei, Oliver Tambo - member, African National Congress, Joshua Nkomo - Founder of the ZAPU, Nelson Mandela - Former President of South Africa, Lionel Ngakane - South African filmmaker, Seretse Khama - First President of Botswana. Later Sir Seretse Khama, Julius Nyerere - President of Tanzania, Robert Sobukwe - Founder of the Pan Africanist Congress, Robert Mugabe - President of Zimbabwe, attended 1949–1951, Kenneth Kaunda - First President of Zambia, Mangosuthu Buthelezi - Leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri - Minister, South Africa, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang – Minister, South Africa, Chris Hani - Leader of the South African Communist Party, Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile – Minister, South Africa, Bulelani Ngcuka - South Africa's former Director of Public Prosecutions, Loyiso Nongxa - Vice-Chancellor of WITS, John Hlophe - Judge President of the Cape Provincial Division of the High Court

      Amanda - 2012-03-23 12:49

      Why are all the gov ministers kids in THE private schools in the country. Their kids do not go to gov schools. Please explain?

      Shirley - 2012-03-23 13:57

      Jasoneye: Could not have said it better myself!

  • Hermann - 2012-03-23 07:37

    And slowly the truth is coming to the fore.

      Kolobe - 2012-03-23 08:18

      she makes valid points

      Bibi - 2012-03-23 08:54

      Vuyo: what do you think about the education system and a 30% pass rate - I think it is insulting to think that blacks can do no better than 30%

      Kolobe - 2012-03-23 08:54

      comrade the education is not necessarily worse than that of apartheid but maths literacy will not develop our economy

      J-Man - 2012-03-23 10:11

      Ja nee...if you come to me for a job, with a 30% average and claim that you "passed"... i will laugh in your face and send you matter who you are.

      Hugo - 2012-03-23 14:25

      Bibi 30% pass mark is only for black kids?thats news to me

  • Penny's - 2012-03-23 07:40

    BAWAHAHAHA, that's what happens when you keep dropping the education standards and pass grades to cater for the lowest common denominator so that the results look good. Lower pass grades required so that government can look good, DOES NOT equal better quality of eduction. Duh?

      Peter-Peter - 2012-03-23 08:07

      If they read your comment: "****'* **** ******* **** *** keep dropping the ********* *** pass grades ** ***** for *** ****** ****** *********** ** **** *** results **** good. Lower pass grades required so that government *** look good, **** *** equal better quality of eduction"

      bheki.dingiswayo - 2012-03-23 09:26

      Generally all the standard has been lowered to accomodate more blacks in different profession. In the apartheid years use to be more that one education system, so whenever we comment bear the following in mind (i) Department of Education and Culture (Homeland), Department of Education & Training (Blacks in old SA), House of delegate (Coloured and Indians), Department of Education (Whites only)

      Shirley - 2012-03-23 14:01

      The minister is farting against thunder! The anc will spin another fairytale and continue to destoy all!

  • Lwads - 2012-03-23 07:41

    Thank you for acknowledging that... ANC has something to learn from you!!!

      Hugo - 2012-03-23 14:27

      ANC has something to learn from everyone of its citizens.

  • logical007 - 2012-03-23 07:41

    AMAZING... White people say Education is 'worse than under apartheid' they are labelled as racist.. yet a black person says the same thing and its news worthy?

      TBlogger - 2012-03-23 07:46

      Atleast its coming from someone who suffered under the apartheid times, it counts for a lot, considering how poor the system was pre-1994!

      Leon Curling-Hope - 2012-03-23 07:46

      I agree, but they at least are telling it how it is... Small steps

      Herbert - 2012-03-23 08:04

      so true!!! i just shudder at the thought.

      Con - 2012-03-23 08:17

      What is so amazing about it ? White people cannot make such a statement because they did not experience it. The statement only carries weight coming from a black person.

      Kevin - 2012-03-23 08:30

      Mamphela Ramphele is an exceptional human being. She is well educated, perceptive and has held and holds a high profile job on merit. Were there more like her in the world.

      Deon - 2012-03-23 08:33

      @ Con. Fair point but you are missing logical's point. No matter who you are or your circumstances - if you make a valid comment it should be acknowledged equally no matter your colour.

      Omrisho - 2012-03-23 09:26

      but poly... do you not want to hear the truth... or do you prefer some watered down lame excuse of a sham as to how "wonderful" our current education system is??

      Antoinette - 2012-03-23 09:46

      Dr. Ramphele has always been an exceptional person. She graduated as a medical doctor under apartheid rule. She also has a PhD in Social anthropology and was the first black vice-chancellor of UCT. She then became a director of the World Bank. What she says is always well-informed and newsworthy.

      Bern - 2012-03-23 11:35

      @T Blogger. The apartheid system was still the best in all of Africa according to the UNESCO published report of 1996 which indicated the literacy rate of South Africa as 80% + (Highest in Africa). Ghana for example was on 57%. A great number of blacks were also educated in the homelands where they governed themselves and set their own standards of education. This is a factor that is conveniently forgotten.

      Nyiks11 - 2012-03-23 11:59

      @logical007 The difference lies within the experience not the race of the messenger .White people were never fed inferior education like we were , but I wouldn't call them racist if they continue commenting on matters they have no knowledge nor experience of . . . .they do it all the time .

      logical007 - 2012-03-23 12:19

      @ Mgayi and now the education level is even more inferior than ever???? so what's your point????

      Nyiks11 - 2012-03-23 15:54

      The only inferior education left is that which is still taught in some white households and to the Kommando Corps that blacks are people of lesser intellect compared to whites

  • Moi - 2012-03-23 07:41

    Someone in government has finally seen the light. Now, what are they going to do about it???

      Henri - 2012-03-23 08:02

      Switch it off ????

      Con - 2012-03-23 08:17

      She is not in government. If only she were.

      Ken - 2012-03-23 11:18

      Dr. Ramphele is NOT a politician and never has been.

  • Youefoh - 2012-03-23 07:42

    DOH!! It does not take a scientist to see that, and this is not just the education its the whole damn country!

      TBlogger - 2012-03-23 07:47

      But this is one of the major problems Youefoh, if the education system today is not up to standard, can you imagine the type of leadership tomorrow??

      Youefoh - 2012-03-23 08:15

      Exactly TBlogger, slowly going downhill but as such a slow rate we don't really realise it until something drastic happens.

      Paul - 2012-03-23 08:27

      It should also start with the parents, social education!

  • Sharon - 2012-03-23 07:43

    The disservice here is to our children, the future doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. I watched Carte Blance on Sunday, and it seems the young men and ladies, who achieved distinctions in matric are shocked by how little they actualy know! Shame on you, ANC, don't lower the bar, improve the schooling. There are no short-cuts in education.

  • Jennifer - 2012-03-23 07:43

    I can hardly believe my ears. Someone has actually stood up and been counted.

      Henri - 2012-03-23 08:04

      my eyes tell me i read wrong.

  • paul.coetzee1 - 2012-03-23 07:43

    It is not only Education. Every single thread in the fabric of our society ha collapsed or is collapsing. Not nearly everything..... everything.

  • Wayne - 2012-03-23 07:44

    Here is a voice of reason, who has the necessary struggle "gravitas" to be taken seriously by those in Government. Hopefully someone in Government will sit up and listen.

  • Leon Curling-Hope - 2012-03-23 07:45

    Thank you! Thank you! Hopefully the ANC sees this as a wake up call!

  • Ben - 2012-03-23 07:46

    Which means that we shall have to compete with other countries with an uneducated work force. Easy to work out what that will do to our economy.

  • Herman - 2012-03-23 07:46

    Finally! Someone that speaks sence!!! GIVE THAT MAN A BELLS!!!

      PB - 2012-03-23 07:56


  • Justin - 2012-03-23 07:47

    right on Mamphela Ramphele, it is indeed sad that the education system has failed. Curiously though, will you get lambasted like Zille for your comments? Probably not.

      Marion - 2012-03-23 07:56

      Or like Barbara Hogan when she criticized something (think it was the health system). Big whammy.

      Hugo - 2012-03-23 14:29


  • malcolm.molver - 2012-03-23 07:47

    Someone give her a Bells! The chances though of the ANC fatcats sitting up and listening are about the same as Malema ever apologising sincerely- negligible!

      Penny's - 2012-03-23 07:49

      Between you and Herman, the lady will be sozzled by 9 this morning

      Jacqueline - 2012-03-23 07:52

      @Penny: Well said!

  • jack.kukard - 2012-03-23 07:47

    At last somebody willing to say what is needed.....

  • njdejager - 2012-03-23 07:48

    No she will no langer be a hero to the ANC because she said this watch..

      Nigel - 2012-03-23 08:00

      the ANC will call her a racist, lol

      Ken - 2012-03-23 11:22

      You think she gives a rats ass about the ANC?

      Hugo - 2012-03-23 14:31

      she was never a hero to the ANC but to most(educated) black people.

  • Jacqueline - 2012-03-23 07:49

    Finally someone is saying it! I was one of the lucky ones who got "out" just in time before all the school reforms happened. The lack of knowledge in our youth is astonishingly bad. Just look at all the atrocious spelling and grammar on News24 and FB. It's a shocking example of how the education system has failed the children of this country.

      Mike - 2012-03-23 08:19

      I sit with my son and help him with his homework, he's in grade 2, i cant beleive the amount of spelling mistakes his so called teacher makes, and marks wrongly spelled words right etc, its terrible, if i had the money id put him in a private school but they've outpriced themselves from the middle class citizens

      Jacqueline - 2012-03-23 08:46

      It is a sad state of affairs, Mike. I honestly feel for the youth out there looking for jobs at the moment. With such a sub-par education, how does our Government expect these people to function on a, local business level, never mind international level? I always type in full sentences, even on text or Blackberry Messenger. I detest the shortened text. It is making our country dumber by the minute! Most adults, 27+ can't even spell properly any more!! It's so shocking!!

      Grant - 2012-03-23 09:25

      HOWEVER-language,grammar and spelling are not cast in stone .Transmission of communication is an evolving animal and you have to wonder with the exponential growth in this communication would the evolve+mental of it also not be exponential.Your lil tut-tut bleets about spelling would are echoes from the past -Medieval-Victorian-current day have seem dramatic changes in spelling of the English language.There are no doubt some tutor ghosts from the past wispilly wondering the halls of education,consternation at twitter,wasapp and all that.Perhaps they tap you on the shoulder from time to time. Yes correct spelling is important to avoid confusion but Im quite sure I could have typed this post with shrter amnt of chrktrs and still achieved the desired communication message.The proud and self agrandized often get left in the grey decay of their own backward thinking right-snoutness.

      Stephan - 2012-03-23 12:48

      Fair enough, Grant. We're not language nazis, now are we? However, I challenge you to invest your pension into the next company that hands you a proposal in Mxit/Twitter language. Go on, double dare. That language does not belong in a school paper, finnish an claar! (sic)

  • francois.roux1 - 2012-03-23 07:50

    Well, no surprises there then... LOL

  • Mike - 2012-03-23 07:54

    There can be no power without brain power...wake up call!

  • Saamprater - 2012-03-23 07:56

    And who must we thank? The cANCer!!!!!

      Saamprater - 2012-03-23 08:34

      Oh, and I forgot to mention that ever brilliant Naledi Pandor who forced outcomes based into our schools. Viva! for the cANCer, Viva!! on a mission well accomplished. Uneducated voters make for some uneducated decisions. Viva!!

      roger.pacey - 2012-03-23 18:09

      Have to correct you there, Saamprater. Sibusiso Bengu was the minister of education when this all started. Remember how people who were against OBE because of its track record were denounced as racist counter revolutionaries?

  • Blane - 2012-03-23 07:57

    She will be looking for a new job on Monday , any side bets ?

      Lwads - 2012-03-23 08:00

      You're on... cANCer people have no idea what internet is!!!!

      Ken - 2012-03-23 11:27

      Your comment makes no sense whatsoever. She has absolutely nothing to do with the ANC. The ANC wouldn't have the guts to even look in her direction.

  • Johan - 2012-03-23 07:58

    In the old days one could employ a matriculant but now with a 30% pass benchmark these kids are barely literate and therefore not employable except as labourers

      TBlogger - 2012-03-23 08:08

      Sad but true..

  • Shane - 2012-03-23 07:59

    At last someone with open eyes! However she will probably be named a racist radical by the government who will produce a bunch of statistics showing that a population who cannot read or write are more educated than they were 20 years ago. The current government do not want an educated populace because that will cost them the vote, an educated populace will notice the complete lack of delivery and gross incompetence that is the order of the day.

      Bakhusele Kusta Mathupha - 2012-03-23 08:17

      a very gud point Shane indeed! all they *politicians* seem to care about is the figures and statistics....... I just wonder what good will it do for the country! take unemployment for instance, its unreasonable n ts not dat pepul dnt want to work, they're just incompetent..... Maths Literacy :) lol

      Jacqueline - 2012-03-23 08:22

      Case and point.

      Tshepo - 2012-03-23 08:57

      I wish under apartheid, people like youn Shane(who were so educated) would have stood up for blacks, agaisnt their own goverment.

      iainrhind - 2012-03-23 10:16

      Actually Tshepo, I was also one of those who stood up against the regime. If you recall a party called the Progressive Federal Party, I was a youth member of that organisation. Or school also had the first (or one of the first) black pupils in our classes. That was at Kimberley Boys High in 1977, IIRC. So, yes there were many working behind the scenes trying to change things.

      Tshepo - 2012-03-23 11:40

      @iainrhind, please this is now emberassing, behind the scene? and yet you claim you were against apartheid. Dr. Mamphele Ramphele, is spitting her vernom in public? this is your system of divide them and rule them. @janine, how many?

      Hugo - 2012-03-23 14:34

      Janine so the NP rigged votes???

      celeste.rsa - 2012-03-23 19:34

      Tshepo, you are now trying to deflect attention away from one of the very real problems of today. Apartheid is over - finished, klaar, dead and gone and has been since 1990! We need to be concerned about the present and the future....understand?

  • Mack - 2012-03-23 07:59

    Dept of Education concentrate more time on increasing the pass rate to look good in front of parliament & media rather than educating our pupils. Their numbers are even fabricated. Big ups to Ms Ramphele

      Hugo - 2012-03-23 14:35

      politicians are just like that.

  • Nigel - 2012-03-23 07:59

    SA spends the 6th most (as % GDPat 5% & portion of budget at 20%) on education in the world , we rank 140th out of 144 countries in education results, that says it all, doesn't it.

      Hugo - 2012-03-23 14:36

      throwing money at a problem will not solve it.Our Education has enemies that the gov is reluctant to tackle head on.

  • MichelleRamsaySA - 2012-03-23 08:01

    The question is.. What are WE as South Africans of all races & religions going to to about it? The problem is already there but we forget how powerful people can be TOGETHER to change something in Government... I don't have kids yet, but I sure don't want my kids to be exposed to a bad education system! I'd rather home school then. But that doesn't solve the problem..

      Mike - 2012-03-23 08:21

      You can have mine every 2nd week? lol

      Rodney - 2012-03-23 08:27

      We should stand up with the people, but if I say that I'm a racist and want to over-throw the government.

      MichelleRamsaySA - 2012-03-23 08:32

      @Rodney - I believe with all my heart that a lot of white people are still caught up in the apartheid thinking because of our parent, family, other people and how it is constantly highlighted in the media. I also believe that in the African community it is the same principle of being treated unfairly in the past. Until we decide and fight that mindset together until we all understand that it's the past and we as the new generation need to make changes for OUR futures and the future of OUR children, then nothing will change. You get murderers in all races, just the same you get racists everywhere. It doesn't mean we should label everyone the same way. It's such a sensitive issue that we unfortunately need to address in ways we don't want to, but the right way is honesty, compassion and understanding on both sides. We just need to stand together, as simple as that..

      Saamprater - 2012-03-23 08:36

      Talk with your vote

  • Jason - 2012-03-23 08:01

    it cannot be expected to develop a top education system when the very pupils attending do not: have lights to study by, money to afford the various books, clothing, extra mural activities, parents who are educated and play a supporting role, houses that dont get flooded in winter or warmed by bringing in a fire drum. ppl who echo the sentiments that anything was better under the apartheid system are delusional. its easy to have better things when you have a system dedicated to only 10% of the populace. step one is to create a generation that goes to school thereby allowing the next generation the opportunity of living with a parent that can sort of understand the value of school.

      Twolips - 2012-03-23 08:19

      Many black people have managed to study and do well in spite of their personal circumstances. If there is the will to learn a person will do whatever is necessary.

      HiJack - 2012-03-23 08:23

      How is the system geared to 10% of the populace? Obviously you mean whites. Have you considered that possibly WHITES are more geared to the system by actually going to school... and not burning it down like the other 90% of the populace? Apart from the education system being a joke, lowered every year to make pupils think they passed matric well, the problem is with black mentality.

      Jacqueline - 2012-03-23 08:26

      I disagree with your first sentence Jayded. Some of our countries top scoring matriculants, who received distinctions in every subject, did exactly that. Studied by candle light, had old, worn textbooks, parents with barely an education etc, but they applied themselves in the face of adversity and they triumphed! Those are horrible circumstances, don't get me wrong, but that is NOT an excuse.

      Ronald - 2012-03-23 08:33

      On your Facebook pic you seem too young to have seen the pre-1994 schooling system. I have interviewed many people from all walks of life that have applied to me for jobs in the past 5 years, and on many occasions young black students that have passed matric have stated to me that their parents seemed to have had a better education than they had, and that can be seen in the simple act of comparing the completed application forms to those of older people. During my travels through Africa I experienced many, if not most communities that live under the same conditions, if not worse, than what we have here as you have described, but the level of education is way higher than we have. In fact, a good education is revered and aspired to no matter what the economic position of the families. It helps of course that their governments do not dumb down the level of education available and treat the voters like dumb oxen or second class citizens. The same goes for most Asian countries.

      James - 2012-03-23 08:34

      I myself came form a poor back ground, granted not as poor as some but again, definatley not well of like the kids in my school. this made me only want to do more, make my life better and work as hard as i had to in order to achieve it. I am successfull, owning several properties, have travelled around the world several times. All this because I pushed myself to be better. People nowadays want everything on a silver platter, case and point, pass one pass all. explain to me how this is going to help them. I on pricipal will not look favourable on a resume with a matric after '96 simply because I know the level of education at that time was still good.

      Bibi - 2012-03-23 08:41

      @Jaydedking: almost all townships have electricity these days and if not they have candles (I mostly studied by candle light as I grew up in one of the poorest areas back then) and they do not have to pay for books and extra mural activities are optional. I know this as I (& other moms) taught extra English after hours for African Language kids in the township school in CT. If you read the news you will also know about some township schools who have with the help of dedicated staff and volunteers from ex Model C schools, upped their math and science mark in the Western Cape. Almost all privileged schools have a buddy school in the township that lend help in all areas - I have to stress that this is not a government initiative, but comes from the schools themselves.

      Deon - 2012-03-23 08:42

      Nicely put and I feel your compassion for people who have tried to better themselves under terrible circumstances. However, you are in danger of appearing to justify the lowering of the bar, which in the long run will in fact worsen the circumstances of the people you sympathise with.

      Jason - 2012-03-23 08:43

      Thank you for all your comments. It is true and extremely possible that certain students or even student parents are able to excel and thrive in poverty stricken conditions, BUT, a national education system is supposed to be geared towards the aggregate. Why should you have to be some exceptional driven human being to get a matric? I like many of you have no education and yet have made a success of myself but we are not the norm but the exception.

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-03-23 09:16

      And just who by, and how, will all this be paid for. Double income tax for producers, no income tax for slackers, Extreme salaries for govt fat cats, theft of govt money, tender fraud, criminalisation of the police, all of this flavoured by incompetance,nepetance and arrogance by the "powers" that be.

      Jason - 2012-03-23 09:29

      robert - one thing i have noticed is that it is easy for us to comment on the governmental responses without coming up with a viable means to overcome the problem. we need to stop patting ourselves on the back saying what a great job we did when we oppressed and entire race group and start assisting with the clean up operations.

      Jimmy - 2012-03-23 09:52

      and what did the leaders of our current government have at their disposal? did they have 'lights to study by, money to afford the various books, clothing, extra mural activities, parents who are educated and play a supporting role, houses that dont get flooded in winter or warmed by bringing in a fire drum?' they suffered more then than the kids do now. they also have politics and police after them. the Madiba's and the Sisulu's, look how they fought and studied for a better country.

      Richard - 2012-03-23 11:13

      This is not true. My kids are fortunate and attend a private school. The same private school has granted bursaries to over 60 children and provide everything including transport to school. Many initiatives exists like this in the private sector. It is the Government that is failing the kids.

      Hugo - 2012-03-23 14:40

      Jacqueline that is true but I am sure you will agree that those are the exceptional ones like Ms Ramphele.The country as big as it is will only have a small number of those special ones.Infact every country has a few of those.That is why we have only one Einstein... Sociological theory applies to the average person and the average person will only do as well as circumstances permit.So the above comment is correct.

      Jason - 2012-03-23 14:59

      Richard - I am so happy that your private school provided bursaries and sundries for 60kids, now we only need to worry about the other 10 million.

      Jason - 2012-03-23 15:00

      Jimmy - the leaders of our current government are the exception. thats what makes them leaders. i ask again, how can anyone who lives in hell expect to make a heaven in education.?

  • Ivan - 2012-03-23 08:04

    Salute we need more people to stand up and say more.I also want to say My son came to me and asked me why is it that only he pays school fees in his clas.Is there someone that can answer me please.

  • Blip - 2012-03-23 08:04

    POW! That will rip right deep into the guts of the ANC regime with their inane "peoples' education for peoples' power" slogan...

  • eben.ferreira1 - 2012-03-23 08:04

    This Lady Knows what she is talking about and not scared to say it. Just confirms Prof Jansen's Points

      Deon - 2012-03-23 08:46

      Prof Jansen: Now that's a man most whitey's would vote for !

  • Chris - 2012-03-23 08:05

    10 points to Mamphela for saying it like it is. Respect.

  • roodbol - 2012-03-23 08:06

    Of course education [to name just one!] would take a dive... look at ALL African countries. If anyone had ideals that we'll be on par regarding education, services, knowledge [whatever, name it] dream on. Why do so many educated folks leave SA? 'Cause they don't like sunny South Africa anymore?

      James - 2012-03-23 08:35

      classic expample. It is my understanding that not only was Zimbabwe the breadbasket of africa but also had the largest percentile literacy rates pre mugabe

  • Bakhusele Kusta Mathupha - 2012-03-23 08:07

    sad reality!!!!

  • Hugh - 2012-03-23 08:07

    Oh how long does it take for the penny to drop? She must be pretty secure in the ANC to have said that. When Hogan and others made such strong points they were sanctioned. One thing I do say about the majority of the ANC voters in SA that they are so anti previous establishment they tried to reinvent the wheel at every turn. The best minds of the ANC are incapable of doing this but they sure did a great job of breaking almost everything they laid their hands on.

  • Den - 2012-03-23 08:08

    ah someone has seen the light...there hope

  • Dexter - 2012-03-23 08:08

    Really interesting how none of the usual "comrades" are posting comments?

      Henri - 2012-03-23 08:12

      they only start working on their bosses pc after 10 o`clock or is that tea time ???

      Tallica7 - 2012-03-23 08:34

      Thus we can conclude that all "Comrade" Trolls are products of recent matriculations!!

  • Emily - 2012-03-23 08:09

    Wow wonderful honesty. Truth. Acknowledge the problem and start working on the solution. Viva.

  • Paul - 2012-03-23 08:10

    VIVA so true this lady needs a medal for her courage!

  • Twolips - 2012-03-23 08:11

    It does my heart good to read the words spoken by an educated, sensible and obviously caring woman. She is 100% correct in her observation and the government would do well to heed her words.

  • Khomotso - 2012-03-23 08:11

    Finally the truth has been told about the education in our country

  • Cally Thupane - 2012-03-23 08:12


  • Patrick Craw - 2012-03-23 08:14

    I'm glad someone has said somethin,30% pass rate is terrible,even I can pass that without studying and I'm 4 years out of school #internationalsyllabus

  • sithembisom - 2012-03-23 08:15

    We going backwards when it comes to our education system ,the kids seem to get dummer each year

      James - 2012-03-23 08:37

      you are a brilliant example of that, correct spelling would be 'dumber', sorry but that needed to be pointed out

  • Althea - 2012-03-23 08:15

    I am one of the few who is highly offended by the quality of the current education. It’s so easy to obtain a matric certificate which is actually of no use

  • sithembisom - 2012-03-23 08:15

    We going backwards when it comes to our education system ,the kids seem to get dummer each year

  • elizabethann.auld - 2012-03-23 08:15

    Well said - about time someone spoke up - apparently 30% for maths is an acceptable entry pass for Varsity???? Problem is - how do we stop the rot? I have many practical ideas as I am sure many others have -BUT - I am an old Mickey Mouse who would be ignored, even if heard!

  • E=MC2 - 2012-03-23 08:16

    Nice one Mamphela Ramphele!!! lets see what card the ANC plays now that it isnt a white making the statement...

      Hugo - 2012-03-23 16:32

      ANC will play no card because this is a factual statement from Ms Ramphele.

  • Hayden - 2012-03-23 08:16

    Ramphele for president!!!

      Karen - 2012-03-23 09:09

      Where do I vote?