[lg policy] SA state-run schooling is stunting our children’s future – IRR

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue May 22 16:55:28 EDT 2018


 SA state-run schooling is stunting our children’s future – IRR
May 22, 2018 | by South African Institute of Race Relations - IRR
<https://www.all4women.co.za/author/south-african-institute-of-race-relations-irr>
[image: SA state-run schooling is stunting our children’s future – IRR]
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
South African Institute of Race Relations - IRR

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‘Parents, not politicians, must run South Africa’s schools
<https://u01.spsend.com/SpeClicks.aspx?X=5P1LSL72IW54LD1G01Y1WY>’ is the
title of the first edition of FreeFACTS from the Institute of Race
Relations (IRR), a report that exposes the extent to which the state-run
school system is stunting the development of South Africa’s children,
especially black pupils

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 [minority] of children will be
well educated”.

Citing IRR research showing that “when communities control schools, results
improve”, the report makes the case for a constructive alternative,
suggesting that “a shortcut to much better education is to get bureaucrats
out and let parents take over”.
As things stand, the outlook is grim:

Author of the report, IRR Campaign Manager Marius Roodt writes: “The data
in this report show, among other things, that only 33% of matric candidates
‘passed’ maths with a grade of 40% or higher, that just 29,2% of schools
have a library, that only 18,3% of government schools have a science
laboratory, and that only 13% of the 2006 grade 1 class managed a
university entry qualification when they wrote matric in 2017.
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“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.”
How to achieve better education outcomes:

The report notes, however, that alternative approaches capable of achieving
the ‘shortcut’ to better education outcomes are feasible.

One is to sell some schools to community groups, churches, non-profit
organisations, and private education providers for a nominal fee of, say,
R1, and let them run such schools within agreed guidelines.

This would go hand in hand with channelling the national education budget
into smart-card vouchers to be given to all parents.

Writes Roodt: “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.”
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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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