The next week is a huge for education in South Africa.
High schools are bragging about their results, teary eyed grade ones are walking into school for the first time and excited first time teachers get their first classes.
I was privileged to assist a young teacher to obtain the necessary SACE (hope that is the right abbreviation) nr from the Department of Education during the end of last year. My small role was to drive her to the Bloemfontein office, and just bring her back. Something so small, but a mountain for her. She is eager to give back to her community and her granny, who as a cleaner had to struggle her backside off to make this possible.
The unfortunate truth is, that this newly qualified teacher does not have a post, class or children to teach, and is now ending up on the growing unemployment list. Her BIG week in education, a big week of nothingness.
Add to this the weekend’s article in Rapport about 18 schools where not even 1 of their matriculants passed, and I am dumb-struck. How is it possible? Not one? I am reminded of the youthful debates of whether the problem is with the children or the teachers, but in this case, no debate needed. If not ONE child passes, the problem is obvious, and the solution even more so.
I have a lovely young friend, who is going to grade 12 this year at the unlikely age of 20. Honestly, he would be a great plumber or electrician, but it has been imprinted on him that you have to stay in an academic school and rather fail, than go the a technical college and get a skill. How tragic? Looking at the state of some of our Technical entities like Eskom, would it not be better to bring back the old technical schools and teach kids how to cut hair, be a plumber, seamstress or electrician. To finish school with a skill and the ability to have your own business. What a great problem to have if we have to many entrepreneurs... something we can only dream of.
So as the education week of the year begins, a quick word to the parents and children. Do your best, work harder than the granny in my blog, be involved and make 2020 the year of getting skilled for your passion.
Stop complaining and be the change you want to see - Seize the day!