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Black students are deprived, not stupid

By unknown | Aug 21, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

I WANT to challenge Sandile Memela's "A Myth about black poverty" in Sowetan of August 18.

I WANT to challenge Sandile Memela's "A Myth about black poverty" in Sowetan of August 18.

He might as well have said that blacks are inherently lazy and stupid because he kept saying that black South Africans have a problem, but not what that problem is.

He dismissed the problem of under-qualified, demoralised, de-motivated, drink-a-lot teachers in black schools as a factor, but not as an excuse. I think that when teachers cannot effectively teach a class, for whatever reason, you have a problem that cannot be ignored.

Yes, poverty plays a role in the under-performance of black students but it does not mean that they are doomed forever.

Memela seems to imply that white and Asian students, who are historically privileged and attend schools of excellence and are taught by teachers who value their profession, have no advantage whatsoever.

Black kids have a lesser chance of succeeding due to the legacy of apartheid, which brought with it poverty, poor and under-resourced schools and poor infrastructure, which Memela denies has an effect on their performance .

Black students have the power and resilience to overcome these challenges. Many have done so in spite of obstacles placed in our path by the racist white Nationalist government to derail black progress. To dismiss the obstacles as an excuse is unfortunate.

Our students should make education a priority and take it seriously and in so doing, eliminate the legacy of apartheid. Some of our students are not serious about their education, but they are not lazy and they are not stupid .

Lucian Hlophe, Daveyton


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