Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga used the terms “crisis” and “national catastrophe” in describing aspects of the South African education system.
This is according to a report by the City Press, following one of the lowest matric pass rates in recent years, which saw over 213,500 pupils fail their final year.
Speaking at a three-day education lekgotla this week, Motshekga spoke out against the existence of two education systems in the country – one where there is high performance with pockets of excellence; and the other deprived of resources with pockets of disaster.
“When we ushered in the new South Africa in 1994, we vowed to create a single national education system that delivers quality education for all,” she said.
Notably, the minister was referring to the Limpopo textbook disaster, in which her department failed to heed a Supreme Court order to deliver textbooks to pupils for the year.
According to the City Press, to help fix the education system in crisis the ministers called for:
- The immediate dismissal of under-performing principals and district directors
- Action against teachers in “former African schools” which are only teaching for 3.5 hours a day (as opposed to the 6.5 hours seen in former model C schools)
- Compliance to the Supreme Court ruling that textbooks be delivered at the start of the academic year
“If 25% (of pupils) fail, we must have sleepless nights…this is akin to a national crisis,” Motshekga said.
You can read the full report in the City Press for 24 January 2016.