Education Comparison In South Africa Education Essay

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SOCIAL,ECONOMIC, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL TRENDS

Many African tribes placed a strong emphasis on traditional forms of education well before the arrival of Europeans. Adults in Khoisan- and African -speaking societies, for example, had extensive responsibilities teaching cultural values and skills within kinship-based groups and sometimes within villages, Education involved oral histories of the group, tales of heroism and treachery, and practice in the skills necessary for survival in a changing environment.[9]

SOCIAL,ECONOMIC, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL TRENDS

The earliest white schools in South Africa was established in the Cape Colony in the late seventeenth century by Dutch Reformed Church committed to biblical instruction, which was necessary for church confirmation.

British mission schools came after 1799, when the first British missionaries arrived in the Cape Colony.[9]

CONFLICT OVER MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION

Language soon became a very difficult issue in education. At least two dozen English-language schools operated in the Cape Colony by 1827, but their presence rankled among devout Afrikaners, who thought the English language and curriculum unnecessary to Afrikaner life.

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Right through the nineteenth century, Afrikaners were against government policies to introduce the English language and British values, and many educated their children at home or in the churches.[9]

After British families started to emigrate from Britain to the Cape Colony in 1820, the Colonial Office selected educated families, for the most part, to establish a British presence in the Cape Colony. The parents placed a high priority on English education. Throughout this time, most religious schools in the eastern Cape accepted Xhosa children who applied for admission, and in Natal many Zulu speaking parents sent their children to mission schools after the mid-nineteenth century. The government also financed teacher training classes for Africans. [9]

After the Boer War (ended 1902) in the former Afrikaner republics, enrolment remained lowâ€"only 12 percent in the Orange Free State and 8 percent in the Transvaal, their way of Afrikaner resistance to British education. Enrolment only increased after the government of the Union agreed to the use of Afrikaans in the schools and to allow Afrikaner parents greater control over primary and secondary education.

LACK OF QUALITY TEACHERS

Afrikaners

In rural areas travelling teachers (meesters) taught basic literacy and math skills. Only later qualified teachers, mainly coming from the Netherlands improved the standard of education and the training of teachers commenced through the introduction of colleges.

In 1852 the independent state of Transvaal and in 1854 the Orange Free State established their own institutions of higher learning in Dutch. The government established Grey Collegeâ€"later the University of the Orange Free Stateâ€"in Bloemfontein in 1855 and placed it under the supervision of the Dutch Reformed Church. The Grey Institute was established in Port Elizabeth in 1856; Graaff-Reinet College was founded in 1860. The Christian College was founded at Potchefstroom in 1869 and became later the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education.[9]

English

The British presence in the Cape Colony and Natal ensured that proper trained teachers were provided and paid by the government. The government also financed teacher training classes for Africans.

The University of Cape Town provided for the needs of Higher Education for English speaking colonists.

FINANCES

Finance of Afrikaner schools was at first provided for by Afrikaner communities themselves, while government or public schools were financed by the British government. After unification in 1910, Afrikaners received more authority in the decision making of public schools.

Africans were mainly schooled in Mission schools or inferior black schools with very little resources.

SOCIAL,ECONOMIC, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL TRENDS

After the British victory in the South African War, Sir Alfred Milner, brought thousands of teachers from Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to force the English language and British cultural values, especially in the two former Afrikaner republics.

Afrikaner churches proposed an education program, Christian National Education, to serve as the core of the school curriculum. The government at first refused to finance schools adopting this program, but Jan Smuts, the Transvaal leader who later became prime minister, was strongly committed to reconciliation between Afrikaners and English speakers, and he favoured local control of education. Provincial independence in education was strengthened in the early twentieth century, and all four provincial governments used government funds mostly to educate whites.

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The Bantu Education Act of 1953 widened the gaps in educational opportunities for different racial groups.

Verwoerd, then minister of native affairs, said black Africans "should be educated for their opportunities in life," and that there was no place for them "above the level of certain forms of labour." The theory of racial "purity," in particular, provided a good reason for keeping black education inferior.

BLACK EDUCATION

Official attitudes toward black education were based on trusteeship and segregation. Black education was not allowed to use government resources away from white education. The number of schools for blacks increased during the 1960s, but their curriculum was inferior.

Riots over language of instruction (Afrikaans) started on June 16, 1976, when students took to the streets in the Johannesburg township of Soweto. A harsh police response resulted in the deaths of several children, some as young as eight or nine years old. The schools suffered further damage as a result of the unrest of 1976. Vandals and arsonists damaged or destroyed many schools and school property. Students who tried to attend school and their teachers were sometimes attacked, and administrators found it difficult to maintain normal school activities. Some teachers joined in the protests.

The discrepancies in education among racial groups were obvious. Teacher: pupil ratios in primary schools averaged 1:18 in white schools, 1:24 in Asian schools, and 1:27 in coloured schools, and 1:39 in black schools.

CONFLICT OVER MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION

To counter the British influence, a group of Afrikaner churches proposed an education program, Christian National Education, to serve as the core of the school curriculum. The government initially refused to fund schools adopting this program, but Jan C. Smuts, the Transvaal leader who later became prime minister, was strongly committed to reconciliation between Afrikaners and English speakers, and he favoured local control over many aspects of education. Provincial autonomy in education was strengthened in the early twentieth century, and all four provincial governments used government funds primarily to educate whites.

Christian National Education supported the National Party program of apartheid by calling on educators to reinforce cultural diversity and to rely on "mother-tongue" instruction in the first years of primary school. This philosophy also created the thought that a person's social responsibilities and political opportunities are defined, in large part, by that person's ethnic identity. The government also allowed the management control to the school boards, who were elected by the parents in each district. The two official languages, Afrikaans & English, become the medium of instruction in schools.

The National Party (NP) was able to take advantage of on the fear of racial integration in the schools to build its support. The NP's narrow election victory in 1948 gave Afrikaans new standing in the schools, and after that, all high-school graduates were required to be proficient in both Afrikaans and English. The NP government also reintroduced Christian National Education as the guiding philosophy of education.

Riots over language of instruction (Afrikaans) started on June 16, 1976, when students took to the streets in the Johannesburg township of Soweto.

This was the start that led to democratic South Africa in 1994.

LACK OF QUALITY TEACHERS

During Apartheid 96 % of all teachers in white schools had teaching certificates, only 15 % of teachers in black schools were certified. This resulted in a 50% Secondary-school pass rates for black pupils in the nationwide, standardized high-school graduation exams in comparison to a white pass rate of 90% or more.

FINANCES

Provincial autonomy in education was strengthened in the early twentieth century, and all four provincial governments used government funds first and foremost to educate whites.

Official attitudes toward black education were based on segregation. Black education was not supposed to drain government capital away from white education. The number of schools for black became more during the 1960s. Per-capita government expenditure on black education slipped to one-tenth of spending on whites in the 1970s. Black schools had substandard facilities, teachers, and textbooks.

The National Policy for General Affairs Act (No. 76) of 1984 provided some improvements in black education but maintained the overall racial separation and inferior quality of the education system.

SOCIAL,ECONOMIC, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL TRENDS

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After 1994 when South Africa became a true l democracy, the ANC government of the day formed by the majority party in Parliament. New education policies (OBE) were introduced but these did not produce the results that were hoped for. There was a single department of education represented in parliament by a single minister. In 2006, the ANC government implemented the current system of two departments and ministers and a new set of policies.

Technology has become an increasingly important lever, especially in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

2011

South Africa's history has been a powerful influence on its education system. Most people exiting the school system were born free. Although there is no place for blaming the past, the truth is that with every change of government a new minister of education with his or her ideas causes more confusion than ever. Constant changes in the curriculum cause chaos. Failure to take responsibility and act wisely.

South Africa is now experiencing its second generation of democratic education policy that is responsible for delivering the next generation of productive citizens.

Unfortunately the outcomes hoped for doo not materialise, as grade 12 results as well as Annual National Assessments results for 2010 indicated a low level in Mathematical and literacy competency.

CONFLICT OVER MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION

Learners may receive instruction in the language of their choice, but a large portion of black parents prefer English as the language of learning and teaching.

Mother tongue education has become in low esteem for black parents, leading to lack of learning skills due to the language barrier due to the ill informed choice by parents.

Grade 12 learners taught in their mother tongue outperform learners that are taught in a second language.

LACK OF QUALITY TEACHERS

Due to the demand for English as a medium of instruction, many learners are taught by educators where English is not their mother tongue. This leads to an inferior quality of education. Many teachers are still under qualified or are teaching learning areas that they are not confident in teaching. Constant changes in the curriculum are causing chaos and unmotivated teachers.

FINANCES

The disparity between the rich and poor causes that parents with a higher income can afford to send them to better equipped schools, that charges higher school fees that ordinary schools in poorer (township) schools. The richer schools can afford to appoint SGB paid teachers to lower teacher-learner ratios as well as the provision of learning materials.