by Ph July 1, 2019, 9:39 am. Leafy suburbs like Sandton boast world-class institutions with top-of-art facilities, whilst neighbouring Alexandra township schools are often victims of violence, poor infrastructure and a lack of resources. That has got more children into schools, but the quality of education is often poor: In Finland, teachers have autonomy to choose what they want to teach and they are allowed to primarily focus on teaching and learning. Almost 1,000 schools have no sports facilities, while 4,358 have only illegal plain pit latrines for sanitation; 1,027 have no perimeter fencing, essential for teacher and pupil safety, while 239 have no electricity, and 37 have no sanitation facilities at all. Nelson Mandela famously said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It seemed fitting that the quote was mentioned at the launch of the Amnesty International report, Broken and Unequal: The State of Education in South Africa, on February 11. The effects of apartheid’s unequal education system can still be felt today. “South Africa is failing too many of its young people when it comes to education. Education inequality in South Africa is largely attributable to the apartheid system that has lasted for many years in South Africa (1948–1991). Despite 25 years of democracy, South Africa remains the most economically unequal country in the world, according to the World Bank. In these circumstances it is not surprising that educational outcomes remain relatively poor. The playing field must be levelled.”. BROKEN AND UNEQUAL THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA Amnesty International 6. If one were to measure an education system’s strength purely on access, South Africa would be a schooling success story. With growth stagnating over the past … The South African education system has never fully recovered from the damage done by apartheid, which lasted from 1948 into the early 1990s. These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. South Africa’s performance on local and international studies of educational achievement South Africa currently participates in a number of local and international tests of educational achievement. BROKEN AND UNEQUAL THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA Amnesty International CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 6 ABBREVIATIONS 13 1. In the Eastern Cape, issues of concern included lack of sufficient toilets for the number of pupils in line with the learner to toilet ratio of 1:30; lack of an adequate and/or reliable water supply often requiring use of a borehole; poor hygiene with associated health problems among learners; leaking septic tanks; broken sanitation infrastructure that could not be repaired owing to lack of funds and an inability to remedy vandalism or theft in sanitation facilities. Many of the audience members raised the point that many of the issues were known, and that there is now a need to create solutions through government, activists and civil society working together. Despite 25 years of democracy, South Africa remains the most economically unequal country in the world, according to the World Bank. The findings of the report were put together in conjunction with a survey that Amnesty International conducted with the NASGB. Since the end of apartheid in 1994 there has … Amnesty International conducted field research in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces between November 2017 and June 2019 as well as extensive desk research including analysis of publicly available statistical data. The floor was then opened for questions. 2. Although it has made significant progress since the end of apartheid in widening access this has not always translated into a quality education for all pupils. Overall enrollments in higher education have more than doubled since the end of the apartheid system in South Africa in 1994, when a reported 495,000 students were enrolled in higher education. Responding last to all the comments that had been made, the department’s Mhlanga said that the department had reportedly not seen the report before the event. Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa. This volume sets out the challenges facing the education system in South Africa, such as poor school infrastructure, poor learning conditions, and a lack of learning materials and provides recommendations on how some of these can be overcome. Although it has made significant progress since the end of apartheid in widening access this has not always translated into a quality education for all pupils. CHAPTER 1 . You can use this tool to change your cookie settings. South Africa has been ranked 75th out of 76 on list of OECD countries in terms of its education system. That made it difficult for students to study at home for exams and to do their homework. OTHER BARRIERS TO THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION 65 6.1 Inadequate school transport to and from school 67 6.2 Unsafe learning environments 70 6.3 Overcrowded classes 72 6.4 Teacher shortages 74 6.5 Excessive teacher workloads 76 6.6 Teacher capacity and training 78 Material may not be published or reproduced in any form without prior written permission. For example, Amnesty International saw many cases of teacher learning ratios exceeding the stipulated ratio of 1:35 increasing to double this figure in one case. On June 16, thousands of students marched through the streets on their way to a rally at a stadium. South Africa spends a bigger share of its GDP on education than any other country in Africa. The system is divided into 3 strata, namely general education and training, further education and training, and higher education and training. In closing, Ogunyemi encouraged audience members to go through the comprehensive 120 page report. 1. Almost 20 years after the end of apartheid, black pupils still generally fare much worse than their white counterparts. Subdued growth has jeopardized efforts to promote inclusion. In its recommendations, Amnesty International calls for the review and reform of how the education budget is distributed in order to achieve quality education for all and to combat entrenched inequality in the system. Many of these buildings date back decades to the apartheid era and were built with unsafe materials. For South Africa to comply with both its own constitutional and international human rights obligations with respect to education, major change is needed urgently, The right to quality education includes having a school where learners are safe to learn and have the adequate infrastructure and facilities to do so, but our research has found that this is not the reality for many learners in the country, The repeated failure of government to address the issues is not only a question of accountability, it has consequences for the life chances of thousands of young people and the future of this country, Dying with dignity in the age of coronavirus, Tunisia: Authorities must refrain from using unnecessary and excessive force against protesters, “We wish to overcome the decades of marginalization that brought us here”, Human rights lawyers become “endangered species” in Turkey, Russia: Scores of activists arrested for protesting the detention of Aleksei Navalny must be released. The report particularly highlights poor infrastructure in public schools including sanitation which has tragically resulted in the death of two children in pit latrines in recent years. The report found that 19% of schools in South Africa have illegal pit latrines, 37 schools have no sanitation, 86% of the schools have no laboratories while 239 schools lack electricity. Another issue was the lack of resources. South Africa is the most unequal society in the world; children from poorer households are already lagging behind in terms of access to ECD and this access gap will widen. Representing the school governing bodies, NASGB’s Matakanya said the biggest problem facing the education system in South Africa is quality. This involved 27 questions covering issues such as governance and the role of school governing bodies (SGBs); infrastructure; funding; teaching; safety and security; and transportation. The Africa Learning Barometer, a new interactive produced by our colleagues at the Brookings Center for Universal Education, indicates that only about half of sub-Saharan Africa… That is about R213.7bn. According to the Department’s own statistics for 2018, out of 23,471 public schools, 20,071 have no laboratory. ), Living under apartheid: Aspects of urbanization and social change in South Africa (pp. South Africa’s education system performs worse than those of Zimbabwe, Kenya and Swaziland. In Smith, D. expertise, and citizen participation in the context of South Africa’s education system. The South African education system, characterised by crumbling infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms and relatively poor educational outcomes, is perpetuating inequality and as a result failing too many of its children, with the poor hardest hit, according to a new report published by Amnesty International on Tuesday. In 2013, the government enacted the Minimum Norms and Standards for educational facilities, requiring the government to ensure that by November 2016, all schools have access to sanitation and electricity and that all pit latrines are replaced with safe and adequate sanitation and schools built from inappropriate materials, such as mud and asbestos are replaced. But did the system work for everybody before? In Smith, D. South Africa has developed a progressive education system – at least in theory. One of the key infrastructure issues is poor sanitation which compromises not just learners’ education but also their health, privacy and dignity. A majority of children in South Africa today live in poverty. Amnesty International South Africa also undertook a joint survey with the National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) in three provinces – Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo. Education in South Africa is continuing to take strain as the government attempts to achieve equal opportunities for all. Despite its weaknesses, South Africa’s tertiary education system is the most extensive and highest quality on the African continent. by Ph July 1, 2019, 9:39 am. Too many schools suffer from poor infrastructure compromising the quality of education available for learners. The buildings were hazardous, built with dangerous material such as asbestos and poorly maintained, in some cases putting the safety and security of learners at risk. 10-13). Brian Sokutu . Furthermore, 18,019 have no library, while 16,897 have no internet. Given the deep structural nature of inequality in South Africa, this report employs a conceptual framework linking dualism in the labour market to dualism in the school system, to illustrate how differences in education quality are at the root of income inequality that … If anything, the … Following on from the comments she made in the video, Makebenge said the economic situation in the country is no excuse for the government to not fund basic education. The system continues to be dogged by stark inequalities and chronic underperformance that have deep roots in the legacy of apartheid, but which are also not being effectively tackled by the current government,” was the main takeaway from the report. While the report acknowledges that there has been progress made since the end of apartheid on widening access to education as well as other aspects, it has identified weaknesses by the Department of Basic Education, such as repeatedly failing to reach its own targets with respect to infrastructure and facilities. 10-13). An education activist and students spoke about the challenges facing the school system. Amnesty International researchers found numerous examples of badly maintained, broken or unsanitary toilets, including pit latrines. Counting was slow across Uganda as a result of the internet shutdown, which affected some of the biometric machines used to validate voter registrations. During the field research, Amnesty International visited 12 public schools in Gauteng and 26 public schools in the Eastern Cape. The buildings were also unhygienic, poorly maintained and in some cases unsafe. ... Estonia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden and the United States. While the report highlights that South Africa has made significant progress on ensuring the right to education for pupils since the end of apartheid, it has found that access has widened to the point where there is almost universal participation although the numbers of pupils dropping out before completing their basic education. Education still unequal after 25 years of democracy . ... black and coloured schools in South Africa are still left under-resourced. And the Equalisers, the 1000+ dedicated rank and file members of Amnesty International recently reported a bleak picture of the basic education system that is failing learners from poorer communities. The apartheid regime passed the … The South African police broke up the march using dogs, batons, tear gas and, ultimately, gunfire. (Ed. OTHER BARRIERS TO THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION 65 6.1 Inadequate school transport to and from school 67 6.2 Unsafe learning environments 70 6.3 Overcrowded classes 72 6.4 Teacher shortages 74 6.5 Excessive teacher workloads 76 6.6 Teacher capacity and training 78 6.7 Conclusions 81 She said the Department of Basic Education has failed by their own admission to meet targets within the education system. please consider taking out a subscription, Q&A Sessions: George Euvrard, the brains behind our cryptic crossword, Early childhood development boost for parents and caregivers, We don’t need more reports about oppression, we need action, Social media a powerful tool in education, How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company, What the Biden presidency may mean for Africa, Disinformation harms health and democracy. ... black and coloured schools in South Africa are still left under-resourced. There are significant disparities in South Africa's education system. education system that still manages to produce vastly different education outcomes that favour a small elite in the wealthy part of that system and disadvantage predominantly black and coloured learners in the less affluent part of the system Figure E1: South Africa’s dualistic school system and labour market • Big demand for good   |   In 2018, research by the World Bank showed that South Africa has the most unequal society in the world. The education system is impressively participatory in its structure, but in practice rejects or undermines participation. South Africa: Broken and unequal: The state of education in South Africa 11 ... made significant progress since the end of apartheid in widening access this has not always translated into a quality education for all pupils. Prior to 2009, these two departments were represented in a single Department of Education. The questionnaire was sent to 101 NASGB representatives covering schools in their respective local area in the three provinces. The report details how the education system continues to be dogged by stark inequalities and chronic underperformance that have deep roots in the legacy of apartheid, but which are also not being effectively tackled by the current government. Here are the facts: 15% of South Africa’s total budget was spent on basic education in the last 12 months that ended March 2016. The launch included a panel discussion which delved into some of the issues raised by the report. The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017, South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12, The new US administration has an interest and much expertise in Africa. BACKGROUND 16 2.1 Inequality and education 16 2.2 The Legacy of colonialism and apartheid 18 2.3 The Right to quality education 20 3. There is still a lack of accountability among officials and teachers for the failure to properly educate young children living in the poor areas of South Africa. He instead chose to respond to the issues of the education system more generally. She said the event might have been a back-and-forth between the civil society organisations and government with defensiveness from both sides. While apartheid education vanished after the dawn of democracy 25 years ago, disparities in resource allocation, widespread drug use and violence have had a negative impact on the quality teaching and learning, say education experts. The result of this modern-day South Africa is that a child’s experience of education still very much depends on where they are born, how wealthy they are, and the colour of their skin. Mhlanga said while the department is not happy with the progress being made, the issue was complex and that it’s important to understand which arm of government has the power to respond to the issues directly. The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. The research for the report was carried out between November 2017 and June 2019. The panel was moderated by Robert Shivambu, the media manager for the Southern Africa Regional Office of Amnesty International. For example, it brings to the fore that many schools and the communities they serve continue to live with the consequences of the political and economic decisions made during the apartheid era where people were segregated according to their skin colour, with schools serving white communities properly resourced. The education system mirrors the fact that South Africa is one of the most socio-economically unequal countries in the world. Ayanda Makebenge, education activist, Shenilla Mohamed, executive director Amnesty International South Africa, Samantha Brener, attorney at Section 27, Matakanye Matakanya, general secretary of the National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB), and Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education (DBE) made up the panel. It attracts more international students than any other African nation. But given the scale of the priorities the administration faces, Africa must not expect to feature too prominently, The former president says he will talk once the courts have ruled, but the head of the state capture inquiry appears resigned to letting the clock run out as the commission's deadline nears, Conspiracy theorists abuse emotive topics to suck the air out of legitimate debate and further their own sinister agendas. She said many students, including herself, were forced to walk for long distances to school. Knowledge-based limitations on substantive citizenship in South Africa 6 South African advocacy group known as one of the most effective HIV/AIDS activist groups in the world and South Africa’s most dynamic post-apartheid activist group for a time (Robbins 2004). South Africa has the most unequal school system in the world, says Nic Spaull of the University of Stellenbosch. Health concerns have collided with a pre-existing social and economic crisis in which poorer citizens lack access to the same quality of space and services. These included badly maintained buildings that have never been renovated. Learners in Finland do not write exams until age 16. “We are robbing many children, particularly from poor communities of a future,” said Mohammed adding that in spite of austerity conditions, funds need to be utilised to make a difference in the system. The audience consisted of members of Amnesty International, learners, teachers, parents and people interested in the education sector. It was an engaged audience that listened and participated with the panel. These included badly maintained buildings that had never been renovated, many of them dating back decades to the apartheid era and even previously. Students who were interviewed by the organisation in Gauteng raised it as a particular concern, saying that in many cases toilets were "dirty" and "unhealthy". Black South Africans were relegated to “Bantu” school systems, which promoted black subservience to whites. Primary Education. Unequal Education? Amnesty International visited numerous schools that had insufficient resources to meet the requirements for a decent education and this is borne out by the Department of Basic Education’s own statistics. A video was shown just before the panel discussion delved into the intricacies of the report. “The fact that the Limpopo Department of Education says that it will take an estimated 14 years to replace all pit latrines in the province’s public schools is shocking.   |   This inequality could not be more prevalent than in our education system. Given this, the concluding section teases out possible education policy responses. 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