King slams politicians over public schools

2019-04-30 15:25
King Goodwill Zewlithini sings the National Anthem with pupils from Edendale High School in Edendale during a meeting with principals and teachers on Monday.

King Goodwill Zewlithini sings the National Anthem with pupils from Edendale High School in Edendale during a meeting with principals and teachers on Monday. (Clive Ndou)

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

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has lambasted politicians who send their children to private schools while the poor are left to deal with problems at public schools

Addressing principals and teachers in Edendale during a meeting to deal with challenges faced by public schools in KZN, Zwelithini said it was unacceptable that politicians, who should be promoting public education, were sending their children to private schools.

“What message are they sending — what are they saying about the quality of public schools. If we are serious about improving the quality of education in this country then this matter about politicians who send their children to private schools should be confronted.

“Before you send your kids to private schools you must ensure that public schools are at the same level as private schools,” he said.

Most cabinet ministers and MPs send their children to private schools.

A few years ago, then Education minister Naledi Pandor came under fire from opposition parties and the public after it was revealed that she had sent her children to private schools.

Pandor’s successor, Angie Motshekga, has revealed that her children attended public schools.

Zwelithini was brought on board as education patron in the province two years ago after the KZN matric pass rate had taken a plunge — dropping to 60,7% in 2015.

While the province’s performance has since improved, with 73,1% of pupils who wrote the 2018 matric examination achieving a pass mark, Zwelithini said there were still problems in public schools that were making it difficult for pupils to succeed.

“If we want to compete with other countries then there is still a lot we need to do, particularly in rural schools where infrastructure is still a problem. We can’t continue to have a situation where time and again government tells us that education is the cornerstone of the nation and yet we don’t see the level of seriousness when it comes to doing the actual things required to improve our education,” he said.

Zwelithini said it was wrong for government to blame teachers for all the problems currently faced by the country’s schools.

“The issue of education is a collective responsibility. Parents and the community at large have a role to play when it comes to fixing some of the problems we currently see at our schools.

“For example we have this big challenge about liquor outlets which are next to schools. During break time kids go and buy alcohol from these outlets and then come and cause problems in class.

“It is only when every one of us, including parents and the entire community, stand up and say enough is enough that we can address this kind of a problem,” the king said.

Speaking at the same event, Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane said the department had set itself a performance target of an 85% pass rate for this year’s matric examination.

“We already have programmes in place to ensure that we achieve that target,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  goodwill zwelethini

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.

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.