Failing values of education

Education Minister Naledi Pandor has hit the nail on the head: "The levels of under-performance in our education system are unacceptably high, and an unjust subversion of the historic promise of freedom and democracy that we've put before our people."

Education Minister Naledi Pandor has hit the nail on the head: "The levels of under-performance in our education system are unacceptably high, and an unjust subversion of the historic promise of freedom and democracy that we've put before our people."

The time for excuses for the morass in education is over.

It is time we started thinking like a free people in charge of and living in the most powerful and richest country in Africa.

We are masters of our own destiny and should start behaving likewise, instead of bemoaning the evils of apartheid in perpetuity.

Yes, apartheid was an evil system which continues to bedevil the education of the black child to this day. It has left many generations of blackpeople without the requisite education and skills to prosper in life.

Many of them cannot even benefit from the opportunities that came with freedom.

Having said that, we agree with Pandor that there is too much mediocrity in our education system because of lousy education.

And this cannot be justified and explained away only in terms of the evil legacy of apartheid.

Like Pandor, we think there are just too many people out there who draw salaries as teachers but our not worthy of the title.

By the same token, many parents need to be reminded that they are expected to play a more active role in the education of their sometimes unruly children beyond just dumping them at school.

Excellence will continue to elude us as a people and as a nation until the majority of parents take it upon themselves to instil in their children such values as are necessary to make them become model pupils and, eventually, upright, successful adults.

Parents must work with teachers to ensure schools remain places of learning instead of being breeding grounds for juvenile thugs in school uniform.

Having said that, we urge the minister and her colleagues to listen to the criticism of her government's handling of education from experts in the field.

We have a lot of respect for veteran educationist and mathematician Thamsanqa Khambule and find his view that the ANC government is mismanaging education worthy of consideration.

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