South
Africans emphasize more on the matric
results and ignore the quality of basic education. Teachers, principals and most
of the members of the Education Department
are obsessed with Grade 12 and don’t focus on the functioning of the primary school system. This is resulting in children coming out of school without the 3
basic R’s of education: ability to Read, wRite, and aRithmetics. Basic education should be a primary driver of
transformation in South Africa. Moreover, teacher training programmes should be
created for developing teaching skills to guide
the learners. Principals and staffs should dedicate their focus on improving
the use of resources available to enhace learning. In this way, South Africa
could develop into a country with increased literacy rate, employment rate, GDP
per capita and in other economic aspects.

Besides, even after South Africa’s rate of investment in
education is amongst the highest in the world, many schools still lack
elementary services, infrastructure and learning resources due to the absence
of support from the principal which basically reflects the failure of Education
departments to deliver their core responsibilities. Students don’t get taught
the skills reuired to use the resources provided to them. “South
Africa spends 20 percent of its budget on education
or 6.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)” and at the same time,
developing countries spend only a fraction of what South Africa spends have the
better academic achievement. This
ultimately concludes that without a well-functioning
support and monitor, all the investments are
worthless. The resources provided will be used in a non-efficient manner, bringing down the quality of education and
therefore the school’s success will decline.

Management
is yet another crucial factor that pulls down the education system from
advancing. Of course, school management
is largely reliant on the school principals who are expected to support and
monitor schools in both administration and
subject areas. However, regrettably, many school’s principals don’t have the
correct skills and fail to ensure decent quality education as they don’t verify
the quality of the teachers they enroll which results to poor guidance. And due
to this this, they lack a motivational push to learn which results to numerous
dropouts:”41% of students who in 2015 enrolled for Grade 10, did not make it to
matric.”

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Moreover,
their absenteeism demotes the quality of education in South Africa. “Out of 130
maths lessons scheduled for Grade 6
pupils, teachers had only administered 50
lessons”. This insufficient teaching time outcomes to inadequate opportunity
for pupils to learn. “Grade 5 pupils wrote in their books only once a week or
less. It added that only 3% of Grade 5 pupils across the country wrote in their
books every day” which is quite unsatisfactory as compared to the standard
quantity a Grade 5 student should write. Further reports have reflected that
the syllabus isn’t completed by the end of the year in many schools. How will
the students be able to perform if half of the official curriculum is being
covered? If half of the officially scheduled lessons were being taught? Due to
such negligence, “66% of our Grade 9’s can’t do basic maths and science”, which
is surely disappointing.

Teachers’
quality is a serious concern for South Africa’s declining standards. “79% of
our Grade 6 maths teacher can’t pass Grade 6 maths test”. This implies that the
teachers don’t have the basic pedagogic and are unable to enact the basic
functions of teaching. They lack content knowledge which is required to boost
the skills of the learners. Teachers must know how to translate the knowledge for
effective learning in the classroom.

South
Africa, unfortunately, has failed to deliver this vital tool to its citizens. Statistics
related to education in South Africa portrays that education system has not
been able to achieve its purpose. “Real matric pass rate is 37.3%” which
obviously doesn’t reflect a good performance. Ironically, the core of this poor
result commences in primary education. “78% of our Grade 4 kids cannot read for
meaning in any language” conveys that the schooling system is failing the
learners long before they reach their final years. The problem arises when the
cause of this poor outcome comes with multiple factors, mainly in-school factor
such as teaching and management.

“Education
is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, a quote by
Nelson Mandela. Education is an essential tool which is required to inherit
moral spiritual and ethical values and to earn a livelihood. It is the backbone
of developing countries which produces good citizens and therefore, is quite
significant.

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