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EDITORIAL | Getting kids back in classrooms is not negotiable

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EDITORIAL | Getting kids back in classrooms is not negotiable

Statistics reveal an inordinately high number of pupils have not returned to school this year

Editorial

If we measure South African schooling by Nelson Mandela’s words that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, we must surely be shooting blanks. This is a reasonable conclusion after two recent outcomes that paint a big F on the report card of our country’s education system. 

On Saturday basic education minister Angie Motshekga told teacher unions, governing body associations and professional associations that more than 150,000 pupils in seven provinces had not returned to classrooms. And that figure — 50,228 primary school and 108,660 secondary school pupils — is set to rise, as possible pupil dropout figures for the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga are to be verified. 

The reasons Motshekga gave range from shortages of floor space, furniture, learning teacher support material, hostel accommodation and about 10,000 teacher vacancies. Schools damaged by storms in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal as well as a hold on renovations and the construction of extra classrooms in North West are also contributing factors. ..

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