Read what it’s like for a 16-year-old at a poor school in SA

DISTANT: Children from GaSako village in Limpopo have to walk long distances to school daily Photo: Zoe Mahopo
DISTANT: Children from GaSako village in Limpopo have to walk long distances to school daily Photo: Zoe Mahopo

Unappetising meals‚ frequent curriculum changes and absent teachers are just some of the issues weighing down some of South Africa’s school students.

Students and teachers from schools around the country gathered at Equal Education’s Teaching and Learning Summit at the weekend‚ where many levelled complaints against an education system “in crisis”.

Zfikile Mbewu‚ 16‚ of Thembelihle Senior Secondary School in Khayelitsha‚ Cape Town‚ is one such student.

Speaking on the country’s move from Bantu education to decolonised education‚ Mbewu made the following powerful remarks on her experience as a child at a poor South African school where there are “no windows‚ no books and no proper sanitation”:

On feeding schemes: “[The food] is not something someone in the government would feed their child.”

On safety at schools: “We as the children of these [poor] schools have to stress about whether we are going to arrive home.

On academic performance: “It is the circumstances we are put under as students that lead us to underperform.”

On the promises of politicians: “We get political parties asking us as youth to vote for a job – you can’t get a job if you don’t have an education.”

On curriculum changes: “The textbook of a child in 2006 is not the same as the textbook of a child in 2016. We are given a summary of what we are supposed to know‚ yet we are expected to be smart.”

The summit finished on Saturday with the drafting of Equal Education’s education charter‚ which will be approved by the organisation’s national council in September.

The comments and recommendations of students like Mbewu was used in the drafting process. – TMG Digital

 

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