South Africa’s education system remains fundamentally dysfunctional and unequal. Access to education might have increased since 1994, but the quality of education remains too low to empower the nation. Today, South Africa’s education system is ranked as amongst the worst in the world, thanks to the gross mismanagement and over-politicisation of educational institutions.
We must act as one to address the challenges of our education system:
Weak institutional functionality: implementation of national policies varies significantly from region to region, indicating an institutional administration in disarray.
Undue union influence: unions interfere with the ability of the education system to act in the best interests of learners by reducing accountability and compromising the quality of education through self-serving behaviour.
Weak teacher content knowledge and pedagogical skill: teachers generally lack basic levels of content and pedagogical (teaching) skills, with one study finding that 79% of teachers displayed content knowledge below the grade that they are teaching at.
Wasted learning time and insufficient opportunity to learn: because there are limited resources and accountability, most children will miss more than half of the prescribed curriculum and half of the scheduled classes per year. On average, learners only write one paragraph in their books for 6 weeks they spend at school.
Curriculum: the current curriculum does not provide learners with skills required for gainful employment in a fast-changing labour market, nor does it empower young people to start their own businesses.
Post-matric and adult education: our education system does not do enough to provide education options to adults that were denied access to quality education, and the post-matric education options are not aligned with the needs of the labour market.
What We Believe
Quality Education will unlock South Africa’s economic potential and reduce inequality by ensuring that all South Africans have the opportunity to succeed in life.
All South Africans should be able to access a quality education no matter who they are, where they live, or what they earn.
Our education system must teach critical thinking and entrepreneurial skills that will empower young people to be active participants in the economy.
Classrooms should never be used as political playgrounds. We must act as one against the politicisation of the education system and break the stranglehold of unions.
All children must have access to sporting and cultural development opportunities, which form a fundamental part of childhood development.
Everyone should have access to tertiary education, but free tertiary education is not viable. Instead, tertiary education must be funded through affordable and flexible funding mechanisms.
Depoliticise the administration of education by eradicating the stranglehold that unions have over education policy and the administration of schools.
Professionalise the administration of education by reforming the Department of Education and implementing progressive career development mechanisms for school administrators.
Allow educational and pedagogical experts to develop a sustainable and progressive curriculum centred on promoting a culture of life-long learning and critical thinking.
Restore the 50%-minimum pass requirement and actively empower learners to achieve the necessary educational outcomes.
Align the education curriculum with current and future labour market needs.
Implement skills development that allows young people to become employers rather than employees.
Improve the learning environment provided by all schools through an infrastructure development and maintenance programme.
Improve teacher education and capacitation by increasing the standards of teacher education, attracting talented young people to the teaching profession and partnering with the private sector for skills development.
Improve the working conditions of teachers by reducing the amount of content in the curriculum, training and employing teaching assistants and focusing on skills development.
Increase the accountability of teachers and school supervisors by reintroducing school inspectors.
Encourage community structures to take ownership of the education journey by facilitating partnerships between schools, the community which they serve, the private sector, non-profit organisations and government.