Human rights activist Rhoda Kadalie had on Thursday aired out her concern on the fallen educational standard of the country. She said weak education system has created a culture of entitlement in the people.
Speaking at a seminar hosted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School and the Institute for Future Research at the Medical Research Council in Parow, Mrs Kadalie said unlike in her time when everyone worked hard to be educated, the present society now relies on the country for some kind of compensation for their education which they refer to as entitlement.
“When I was a student, I worked to pay for my own admission fees,” she said referring to the Fees Must Fall protests.
“But because our education system is so pathetic, we compensate for what is going on at universities and breeding a culture of entitlement.” she said.
According to her, uneducated parents who are ignorant of the fact that it’s a child’s right to be educated are the major cause of the current entitlement issue.
“Too many parents can’t help their children with homework because they are illiterate. Many could not parent properly because they were too poor and had to struggle to find work,” she said.
Kadalie added that if she were a vice-chancellor, she would have told protesting students to go study. “The year has hardly started and the students are marching about admission fees.”
Meanwhile, Kadalie lamented the falling economic state of the country. To her, The African National Congress (ANC) has after 22 years of running the country, wrecked the economy. There is high unemployment rates, but the majority of young people are too uneducated to be employed, she added.
“We also have a culture of political intolerance. People are being fired left right and centre for expressing their opinions.
“President Jacob Zuma’s contempt for us was demonstrated by the unceremonious way he got rid of Minister Nene,” Kadalie said.
Related to what Kadalie said, South Africa’s minister of education Angie Motshekga openly admitted that the country’s schools are in a state of crisis. “How did we get here and what needs to be done?” she asked.
Addressing her colleagues at a recent African National Congress (ANC) gathering Motshekga said “If 25% [of students] fail, we must have sleepless nights,”
According to BBC, statistics show that about 213,000 children out of about 800,000 had failed their end of school examination for the academic year ending December 2015. Interestingly, this did not happen as a result of poor funding. In fact, report has it that South Africa spends 6% of its GDP on education which is higher than other African countries. The question now is: How did we get to this stage in our education?