Khume Ramulifho, MPL
DA Gauteng Education spokesman
Education is every individual’s key to unlocking the door of opportunity.
According to the World Economic Forum, the quality of our state education system is among the poorest in the world, ranking 133 out of 142 countries. This explains – better than anything else – why more than half of young South Africans are unable to find work. It is also a big part of the reason we are not generating the entrepreneurs that we desperately need.
Why is our education system in a crisis?
It is not because of a lack of funding. South Africa has one of the highest rates of government investment in education in the world, with allocated expenditure on education reaching R 207 billion for the 2012/2013 financial year. Many poorer countries do far better.
If given the opportunity by the voters to govern Gauteng, the DA will adopt and implement the Plan for Growth and Jobs which contains a number of proposals that will give young people the educational opportunities and the skills they need to get jobs.
Every child has the right to a decent education that will unlock the opportunities for a fulfilling and productive life. The time has come to put in place a new plan for education that puts the rights of the learners above everything else and makes the classroom the centre of education policy.
Working for jobs and working for change starts with overhauling our education system.
I was shocked to read reports in this morning’s media that the Gauteng Education department said they were not too worried about the lack of workbooks because workbooks are supplementary material. The department was responding to information revealed by the DA in Gauteng that several schools in Gauteng are without workbooks.
This apathetic response is unacceptable. Why spend money on workbooks if they aren’t important? A workbook is as important as textbook. Every child must be properly resourced to enable them to excel in their studies. This is a key part of successfully improving Gauteng pass rates, and graduating our young people from the classroom to the workplace.