Where there is no school, there is no education

Some children in rural areas of South Africa in the Eastern Cape are still taught in mud schools or learning under trees and getting exposed to the elements of weather. This question of rural mud schools or learning under a tree in South Africa is a contradiction to the democratic processes. Twenty years into democracy, there should be zero tolerance on mud schools. The core business of education is to teach, but good teachers work best when the infrastructure provides sufficient light, cools classrooms down when it gets too hot, and heats rooms up when it gets too cold. In mud schools, the infrastructure is close to non-existent and the classroom facilities found there are inadequate for learners.

For teachers with little experience in handling learners, infrastructure is the crutch that holds the learning environment up. Learners living with disabilities who require special desks and chairs, and recreational equipment are not considered in many of the schools and they end up dropping out. So the state should admit that it has failed not just its people, but the current generation and future generation. This is not a blasphemous claim, but logic says when you invest in education - quality education - then you are investing in the future. The social cost of doing nothing has serious after effects.

Brian Mandipaza

CEPD Research Intern

Please send any comments to edutalk@cepd.org.za