SA’s rankings: Do they count?

2015-10-07 06:30

Do rankings count? In the 2015 WEF global competitiveness report, SA ranks last in math and science. The quality of our education system is better. Here we rank 138 from 140 countries. Our best university ranks only 141 in the QS global university ranking, while many of the others rank well below 300. And where does our government spend a big portion of its budget? You got it. It is spent on “education”.

In terms of crime, we lead. One crime index places us in the top five. In terms of rape, in terms of road safety, we also rank among the worst. Is it a coincidence that more than 80% of us do not share a secular outlook? Take a look at how we revere outdated traditional healers and leaders, and the clergy. In countries with top competitive economies like Sweden and Japan, religion is relatively unimportant and people are far safer. And yes, they can add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Do you see a pattern here? I see that we rank well for most things silly and violent. Working with numbers can transform us into smart and peaceful citizens through side effects such as logic and reason. We may become secular, enterprising individuals with common-sense and number-sense, as opposed to creepy, backward, superstitious, flag-waving, ass-kissing, vuvuzela-blowing groupies.

Politicians talk big about a renaissance. Well here is a suggestion. Spend more of the budget to make math and science mandatory at school and universities and watch crime drop, the economy grow, and the nation unite. That would be the smart thing to do and that is why they won’t do it. It seems our main role was, is, and will always be, to produce cheap commodities for wealthy nations. Perhaps the various rankings fit this role perfectly for a nation generally struggling to count.

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