AS IT HAPPENED: Examining the state of education - 'We are failing our children'

2019-07-03 18:19

News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson examines the state of South African schools with Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who will also be joined by Prof Mary Metcalfe, an education specialist, Dr Makhosi Khoza, a former ANC MP and Paul Colditz from the Federation of School Governing Bodies.


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Last Updated at 00:33
03 Jul 20:34

Education is an extremely important issue and topic. We are failing our children, Colditz says.

Metcalfe says more public debates and sharing about education should happen. We mustn't leave it to the politicians only.

We have to stress the importance of social cohesion, say Makhoza. We must invest in training our SGBs. All of us as South Africans are in this together.

03 Jul 20:31
"Gauteng has a shortage of 300 schools, there is overcrowding. You can't go to any school in the province. The highly sought after schools are filled beyond capacity," Colditz says.

03 Jul 20:27

Lesufi: All teachers are taught from the same port, the outcomes are different.

All children must pray, they must choose the prayer they want.

If they don't want to pray they can leave.

Schools with less violence have a strong element of religion.

03 Jul 20:09
Khoza: We need experts who are aligned with the decolonisation and Africanisation, who advise.

03 Jul 20:08

Khoza says left politics because she's now taking the fight of the classroom.

"All of us want to be politicians and we are not helping the government with decolonisation and Africanisation education," she says.

03 Jul 20:05
I'm tired of studying Animal Farm and Macbeth when there are South African writers, says Lesufi.

03 Jul 20:03
We made a huge investment in ensuring learners are having a paperless environment, Lesufi says.

03 Jul 19:49

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What happens in schools is mirroring society, says Colditz. No pupil learns to solve problems with violence at schools, they learn it from society.

03 Jul 19:47
Let's identify the 500 bullies in schools for intervention, including teachers who are bullies. Schools should be the safest place for countries, says Lesufi.

03 Jul 19:45

03 Jul 19:45

It costs over R60m to build a school, says Lesufi. Schools that cost R30m to build come with no facilities like libraries or labs.

Schools built with asbestos schools will be eradicated by 2023, says Lesufi.

03 Jul 19:41
Questions from the floor include violence at schools, changing the status quo of what education is - why is being a mathematician valued over being a dancer, who to approach for interventions, which languages should be prioritised in a school with many languages, how will MEC fix school infrastructure, plans of moving with the times?

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There is a sudden increase in home-schooling says Lesufi.

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Lesufi: I'm not anti-mother tongue, I'm not anti-Afrikaans. My daughter went to an Afrikaans school.

Where classrooms are remodelled to canteens or gyms, that is where I differ.I'm addicted to non-racialism.

03 Jul 19:23

Lesufi: If we can't get education right, we can't get the country right.

If we can't get the skills right, we can't get the economy right.

03 Jul 19:22

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Lesufi says each and every township, poor schools, have other languages with English and Afrikaans.

In schools that can afford other languages hire cricket coaches, don't think that languages are poor, Lesufi says.

03 Jul 19:17

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She says Lesufi has been able to stand tall, despite all the noises.

03 Jul 19:16

"You seem to have a problem with the introduction of African languages," Khoza tells Colditz.

He disagrees.

03 Jul 19:15

Colditz says the funding model has presumption and assumption is that all schools are multi-lingual.

When introducing another language, unless you have a rich constituency, and the community has the resources, it's not possible to sustain the implementation of another language, he says.

03 Jul 19:11

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Colditz: The Afrikaans community wants the language to be respected, "united in our diversity".

Government is to blame for the lack of other languages lacking in schools, he says.

03 Jul 19:06

Metcalfe says that there is no African language textbook after Grade 3, other than African literature.

Tells Lesufi that if he says "treat all languages equally" then there should be textbooks for languages.

03 Jul 19:04
There is history in this country that if you undermine certain languages the outcome will be against us, says Lesufi.

03 Jul 19:03

03 Jul 19:03

Lesufi: Until we treat all languages, we are not going to succeed. There is no "super language".

The same investment in English and Afrikaans should be in other languages, says Lesufi.

03 Jul 19:00

03 Jul 18:59
Khoza: We need to have bilingualism in SA, so that there is an alignment of what a child would learn in English, as an example, and Sepedi.

03 Jul 18:57

03 Jul 18:56

Colditz disagrees with Lesufi's analogy of Irish coffee.

He says there isn't a single school in the country where there are only white learners, all former whites-only schools have been opened to pupils of all races.

There is no such thing as a "white" and a "black" system, Colditz says.

03 Jul 18:55

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03 Jul 18:52

Metcalfe: A sense that change is not happening quickly enough and that people feel excluded has become pressing in society.

The starting point is to start listening and stop assuming that whiteness is correct, she says.

03 Jul 18:49
"We have a lot to do in this country to understand the changes that are happening and support people with those changes," Metcalfe says.

03 Jul 18:48
Prof Metcalfe says the impact of apartheid is seen daily in education.

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