Reconsider "Bill of Obligations" for better education

2017-01-05 06:06

Five years ago the Mercury in its editorial wrote about raising standards and for communities to grasp the responsibility for the advancement of high standards in our education system. How much is relevant in 2017 now that 26% of matriculants acquired university entrance pass?

Instead of raising the bar in education I notice a lowering. In a scathing editorial, once again in the Mercury dated 5.1.2017 headlined "A make or break moment" you will read how the inferior quality of schooling affects the "life chances of millions of individuals" with a deep impact on the quality of society "and the economy that sustains it". This is a powerful indictment. I hope you, critical thinker, reading this blog piece, will read the last paragraph and suggest a way forward.

I must repeat what I wrote way back on Facebook which resonates in 2017:

"Raising standards in education

-------------------------------

Now that the dust is swirling in the release of matric results for the "class of 2011" an editorial in the Mercury has evoked the following response.

Yes,we need community spirit and philantrophy as that editorial "Raising Standards" (Mercury 5.1.2012) proclaimed. Just members of the Indian community in KwaZulu-Natal did.

Names such as PR Pather, Hindu Tamil Primary School, Sastri College, ML Sultan and Gandhi Desai are names of institutions that come to mind . Of course the church got involved as well as we can see it's fruits in the shape of St Anthony's just opposite the Durban University of Technology!

I suspect it needs a change of mindset, of prioritising the future as our earlier pioneers did and the circumstantial challenges then as are now is no different.

Somewhere in the afterbirth of our constitutional democracy I get the sense that the absence of a Bill of Obligations which is imperative as a compliment to the Bill of Rights (chapter 2) is hindering our progression towards becoming an intellectual as well as productive power house that South Africa is punted to become.

This Bill of Obligations was debated a few years ago by members of religious and cultural communities, but that, I submit, remains a nebulous idea whose time has surely come to evolve from the realm of the abstract to that of the practical implementation.

As that editorial pointed out education gets the "lion's share of the national budget" so, methinks that we as a collective must stop holding government exclusively responsible for our children's future and emulate the pioneering soul of our forefathers and assume responsibility too."

It's 2017, storm clouds are gathering overhead. Coming to a university near you will be the resurgence of the #FeesMustFall campaign. Add to that is the abysmal outcome of the 2016 matric results and the growing anger of poor parents whose children receive inferior education in public schools."

I propose that the time is ripe for every South African parent to take to government and demand the establishment of a team comprising largely of parents with statutory powers to have oversight over our educational affairs. We have the intellectual expertise for this. Lets do this.

What do you, critical thinker , have to say?

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