Johannesburg – The South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) said on Tuesday that a report of theirs has exposed the extent to which the State-run school system was not helping the development of South Africa’s children, especially black pupils.
The IRR said the report, titled “Parents, not politicians, must run South Africa’s schools” was the first edition of FreeFACTS that they complied.
IRR said, “The report argues that the bulk of our state schools ‘are not in the main inferior because of a shortage of money. Many emerging markets spend less on education than South Africa, but produce much better results,”
“In South Africa’s case, however, ‘corruption, destructive trade unions, ideological dogma, and incompetent bureaucrats and politicians are responsible for the fact that only a small majority of children will be well educated’.”
The institute said the research they conducted showed that ‘when communities control schools, results improve’, the report hopes to mark the case for a constructive alternative, it suggested that ‘a shortcut to much better education is to get bureaucrats out and let parents take over’.
Marius Roodat, IRR campaign manager said and author of the report, “The data in this report shows, among other things, that only 33 percent of matric candidates ‘passed’ maths with a grade of 40 percent or higher, that just 29.2 percent of schools have a library, that only 18.3 percent of government schools have a science laboratory, and that only 13 percent of the 2006 grade-1 class managed a university entry qualification when they wrote matric in 2017,”
“This may be the future of your child if you don’t find an alternative outside of the government school system – but few people can afford private schools.”
The IRR recommended that schools should be sold to community groups, churches, non-profit organisations, and private education providers, at a nominal fee and let these organisations run such schools within agreed guidelines.
Roodt added, “We estimate that these vouchers will be sufficient to finance high-quality education for every child in the country. Parents can redeem these vouchers at any school of their choosing and top up the voucher with their own funds in the event that the school charges higher fees,”
“By giving parents the choice and buying power to decide on the education of their children they then have the power to control the curriculum, language policy, and ethos of the school they send their children to… It is not for the government and politicians to decide how to raise your child. That is for you to decide.”
IRR said, “It will urge them all to heed growing public anxiety about the state of education in South Africa, and to implement policies that give parents the greater control and influence over schools which, universally, have led to better results in the classroom.”
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