Holistic system will redress past

It has been a great shock to discover that our reports exposing conditions at a North West school we termed South Africa's worst unearthed what now appears to be the tip of the iceberg.

It has been a great shock to discover that our reports exposing conditions at a North West school we termed South Africa's worst unearthed what now appears to be the tip of the iceberg.

Not that we were not mindful of the reality that the legacy of educational inequalities in this country would take a long time to redress.

Since last week, we have singled out Kgononyane Secondary in Ganyesa for the dubious distinction of being the country's worst school, where only one pupil passed out of 659.

Yet, unbeknown to us, Kgononyane was not the only to enjoy this distinguishing mark of disgrace - just kilometres away Huhudi High School had similarly underperformed with only two pupils passing their exams in grades 7 to 11.

But the greatest shock has been the disclosure that there were 106 schools in the province that could be described as "trapped" schools, which achieved pass rates below 40 percent or 50 percent for all subjects.

To redress the situation, radical measures are clearly needed to turn the tide of bad results at these schools. Suspending teachers, as North West's education MEC Johannes Tselapedi has done, is only part of the solution.

A holistic approach that takes into account the socio-economic factors underscoring the affected areas might help redress the situation in the long term.

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