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

Racism – The Easy Choice

We, as a Rainbow Nation were off to such a good “restart” after the 1994 elections; but sadly it looks like our Rainbow Nation might be just as racially polarised as it was before then, or it might be worse, but everyone is so politically correct that it is sickening.

I  count myself as one of the lucky ones, I escaped most indoctrination from the then National Party government, my mother was liberal, having coloured friends, whom she still has today, 30 odd years later, and my father was way too liberal for my liking since he supported the ANC movement’s goals.

My young mind was stimulated with all types of information in the form of books, television and sounds thanks to my wonderful parents.  I remember spending my younger years running around outside, dashing into the house for a quick refill when my stomach was running on empty, teasing our then maid, now domestic worker Xaba and having a quick chat with her about where she was staying, about her kids, about school, about everything really, then dashing out to play outside again.

I was taught to “Live and let live” and to treat people, regardless of race or social standing with respect, and I could see it through the way my folks and my grandparents treated people.

To this day I live with fond memories of watching the Shaka Zulu series on TV, I remember singing We are Growing by Margaret Singana over and over while practising my warriors stance outside with a self made spear and a dustbin’s lid as a shield, I remember crying my eyes out when his two brothers killed him … I remember listening to Mango Grove’s funky pop songs with their heavy African inspired sounds.

Given, through the years I have also succumbed to the odd racial outburst and I am by no means innocent, but this was mostly due to frustration, where I would say “Fok die kaffirs” when I read about a white woman who was raped, or a white family who were slaughtered, or when I read about the corruption or something as “trivial” as animal abuse.

But then, then I remember.  I remember who I am, what I’ve been taught, and how fascinated I was with the black African cultures and Kings of days gone by; I was so impressed by their sense of nobility and bravery.  I remember and I realise what was taken from my fellow African brethren, and I remember all the good black Africans that I have met through my life, I remember that I’ve read the same type of articles in the Sowetan which reminded me that violence, murder and barbarism doesn’t only target a victim of a specific ethnic group.

Sure, violent hate crimes do happen between the colour divide,  corruption seems to be limited to select few of politically and economically connected elite,  but by judging the whole ethnic group on the actions on a corrupt few out of the 50 million odd people staying in South Africa would be to take the easy way out.

That goes for both sides of the major colour divide here in South Africa.

It is way too easy to blame a whole group than to tackle a specific problem, with specific culprits it seems, and I blame the lack of exposure to different communities and cultures along with a lack of education on both sides of the fence.

I could have easily become a white fanatical zombie after a 9mm got shoved into my face by a black man, but I didn’t, and for this I would like to thank my folks for the tolerance, understanding and compassion for my fellow human being which the instilled in my heart.

Given what I’ve written here I fully stand behind education and the transference of moral fibre between generations, and I will work tirelessly towards given the children of South Africa a chance, because they will be our Rainbow Nation’s salvation.