Toespraak in die begrotingsposdebat oor Onderwys in die Vrystaatse Wetgewer

2014-07-08
Wouter Wessels

Die grondslag van enige land se ekonomiese groei en welvaart is gesetel in gehalte onderwys – basiese onderwys wat leerders effektief vir die beroepswêreld voorberei.

Daar is egter bevind dat meer as 70% van skoliere wat skole in Suid-Afrika verlaat nie voldoende vir die werkplek voorberei is nie.

‘n Regering wat nie ernstig oor onderwys is nie, is nie toekomsgerig nie. ‘n Land wat toekoms georiënteerd is, belê in sy menslike hulpbronne deur effektiewe en uitgebreide onderwys en vaardigheidsopleiding.

As ‘n mens in ag neem dat 40% van die totale Vrystaatse begroting aan onderwys toegeken word, lyk dit wel of die regering tog ernstig oor onderwys is. Die Vrystaat bestee meer as R16 000 per kind aan onderwys. Dis meer as vir enige kind in die res van Afrika. Dis selfs meer as vir party ontwikkelde, ryk lande. Dít, terwyl die uitkoms vir onderwys besonder swak is. Gaan dit help om meer geld aan onderwys te bestee? Of lê die probleem by die stelsel en by regeringsbeleid?

In die Vrystaat het slegs 28 000 van die 63 000 leerlinge wat in 2002 met graad een begin het, matriekeksamens in 2013 geskryf. 66% van hierdie graad eens het dus êrens langs die pad verlore geraak.

Furthermore, in the Free State 53% of the pupils who were in grade 10 in 2011 did not reach grade 12.

Whilst the Free State Government boasts with the highest grade 12 pass rate, this drop-out rate – the second highest in South Africa – tells a very different story.

The FF Plus also wants to join in the celebrations and be proud of the Free State pass rate but we have to be cognisant of the reality. With youth unemployment in the Free State at a critical level, the drop-out rate must be effectively addressed prior to celebrating the pass rate. Any pass rate amidst such a high drop-out rate is null and void.

According to a recent World Economic Forum report the quality of South Africa's maths and science education places South Africa last out of 148 countries behind the likes of Haiti, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Kenya.

If the quality of education continues to deteriorate and the drop-out rate remains at more than 40% the ANC’s so-called affirmative action and radical economic transformation will stay only window dressing and election campaigning. The true inequality – not between white and black, but between the very rich and the very poor – will stay intact until quality education by quality teachers is obtained and so-doing addressing unemployment and eradicating poverty.

 

 

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