Education ranking of 133 in the world poses a problem for business

2012-04-25 08:41

Number 133 out of 142 countries in the world is where South Africa ranks in terms of the quality of its education system, according to the latest World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. We fall even lower when looking at the quality of Maths and Science, ranked 138 just above Dominican Republic and Timor-Leste. These indicators brings to light the severity of what will be another lost generation passing through our education system.

Without literate and numerate learners moving through the school system and into tertiary, we cannot come close to meeting our employment or growth targets. The welfare state will be under enormous pressure to grow to support the needs of voters who are not qualified for anything but unskilled labour.

Without educated people, companies have no future market to sell to and no future employment pool to draw from. This is a corporate problem as much as it is a government problem. A Trialogue study shows that in 2010, 90% of the JSE top 100 companies supported education in some way, but the question remains - do companies chase a social return on this investment as closely as they chase a commercial return for shareholders? After all, each rand spent on social investment is borrowed from shareholders and the same levels of accountability should apply.

It is not the role or responsibility of the corporate sector to turn around the education system, but it is a corporate problem as much as it is a government problem. Companies have the benefit of ringfencing their contribution and their responsibility. A carefully considered CSI programme within a specific geographic area can make an enormous difference to the 2000, 3000 or 4000 young learners in that system. To them, it could be the difference between life on the streets after school, or being abosrbed into the slipstream of a tertiary education and formal employment.

While your core business may be selling branded consumer goods, or building houses - with the right approach - don't underestimate the contribution you can make to an area that is non-core, while building brand profile and reputation at the same time.



AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

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.