Basic Education, Rainbow Babies and Sheeple

Today there is cause for big celebrations all around South Africa, and far be it from a grumpy sod like me to rain on anyone’s parade, but I do have a couple of things which I ponder about.

The reason for my turbulent thoughts lies in something which is very important to me, well, not only to me, but to South Africa in general, and in turn the World community, of which South Africa forms a part.

This year is the year in which the first “free born” non Apartheid babies graduated, or well, were supposed to graduate.

Our Grade 12, or as we call it, Matric results got posted, and everyone is all of the sudden very happy about it because of the 73.9% pass rate … but, as most things in South Africa, and in life, there are two sides of the story.

Of the 73.9% who successfully completed the tedious journey through the shocking OBE Education system, only 26.6% will actually have access to tertiary education, and that is to say if there are not other circumstances like financial or logistical problems.

We all know the story, not everyone has the money to put their kids through Varsity, and apart from that, there is no space to accommodate all of these learners since no new Univirsities we build during the last 18 years of our beautiful “Rainbow Nation” came into being.

Funny enough, The World Economic Forum placed South Africa last in a ranking of 62 countries in the quality of maths and science education, there we severe disruptions in Limpopo, the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape with regards to schooling, but our Minster of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga hails this pass rate as one of the best since the fall of Apartheid.

I would be inclined to agree with her, had it not been for the standards of the education which had dropped, how can you pass a subject by scoring 30%  in the exam?  How can you claim that you are a subject matter expert?

How can you pass people on age?

Is it just me hearing the alarm bells here?

Apart from the obvious drop in standard one also has to think of the possibility that political interference might be the reason for all of these truly “amazing” results?

She (Angie) was directly involved in the whole Limpopo text book scandal and one could argue, that it would be in her best interests to have as many pupils as possible pass so that she can get her claim to fame and save her sorry ass, all in one go.

The only way to bring a halt to the endless corruption, the plundering of state coffers, the lack of service delivery and the empty promises made by the Government is through education … but I suspect that the cANCerous Government is more than happy enough with an uneducated “voter” base, since it is way easier to control sheeple than people.

Congratulations to those who did work hard and did achieve the scores they were hoping for; your education is something which nobody can take away from you once you have gained it.

All of the best for 2013