Township schools eroded by exodus

We are being robbed of a valuable resource with the rampant closing of schools in Gauteng's urban townships, where teachers now often outnumber pupils.

We are being robbed of a valuable resource with the rampant closing of schools in Gauteng's urban townships, where teachers now often outnumber pupils.

Parents are voting with their feet against unqualified, under-qualified, under-performing teachers who are more likely to play truant than their pupils. Kids thirsting for a decent education are enrolling at inner-city schools, elite schools in the suburbs and boarding schools - anywhere they stand a chance of realising their potential.

This phenomenon is becoming ever more prevalent in Gauteng, but can be expected to spread throughout the country.

Vacant school buildings in our townships are being vandalised, taken over by unsavoury characters and opportunistic churches, or being torn down brick by brick.

Many children drop out when their school closes or is merged with another. These dropouts become part of the crime wave that engulfs us all.

What a horrible irony that as shopping malls and other business developments mushroom in our townships, the pupils that are our future migrate to and from previously white areas as their parents were compelled to do to survive in the past.

The authorities can reverse this trend only by improving teachers' professionalism, academic development and dedication to ensure that a quality education will boost parents' confidence in the education system in black townships.

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