South Africa: YCLSA calls on state to end adult illiteracy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon May 21 13:17:51 UTC 2007

YCLSA calls on state to end adult illiteracy

The Young Communist League of SA (YCLSA) said on Sunday it would call for
a review as to why education MECs were necessary and possibly take the
matter up at the African National Congress policy conference in June. At
the end of its national committee meeting on Sunday, the YCLSA said it was
concerned that at a national level, education was the highest expenditure
from national coffers. However, some provinces tended to redirect these
resources to other expenditures of less significance than education.

"Some premiers and provincial treasurers have addressed different
priorities as compared to national priorities, and they therefore thwart
to their own provincial imperatives and compromise education," read a
statement. "As we approach the ANC policy conference, we are calling for a
review of the need for Education MECs." The YCLSA said it would also
advocate for a policy that would give more powers to the national minister
to determine national priorities and imperatives, and powers to intervene
at all levels.

"This will guarantee uniformity and standardisation." The YCLSA further
called on the Government to hurry up and provide mother tongue education,
end adult illiteracy, value history more as a school subject and increase
Internet access in education. It called the Government's "absence of
training and retraining of teachers in the National Curriculum Statement
(NCS)", "an invitation for a disaster". "The delay of the introduction of
NCS in Grade 11 and Grade 12 and the high failure rates in the latter can
be attributed to a lack of retraining," read a statement.

On indigenous language education, the YCLSA called on the department of
education to move with speed with regards to the 2005 Language Policy to
defend and protect indigenous languages. "We firmly believe that teaching
children in their mother tongue at an early age enhances their capacity to
learn. In this regard, we also call on universities to encourage the
training of teachers who will teach in indigenous languages," read the
statement. "We reject the assumption that English is primary, and that all
other languages should be subordinated to this language, we are calling
for all languages to be treated equally."

On adult literacy, the YCLSA called on the Government to announce plans
and resources to end adult illiteracy immediately, and to ensure that the
government would be able to do this. "We believe that there is a need for
a 'mass education campaign' to wipe out adult illiteracy immediately,
which could involve the National Youth Service, churches, schools,
universities and every space available to ensure that our parents are
taught how to read and write. "This failure by our government, 13 years
down the line, cannot be tolerated." - Sapa

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