On Mandela's Key to Success

Tegan Mahlatse Dlamini

Why is education not one of the top three biggest issues in SA? 

Education should be one of the top three issues in South Africa because so many South African parents have not had the opportunity to go to school and get the same education as those with greater opportunities or higher-class status. In addition, many areas in South Africa do not have sanitary toilets, proper classrooms, and proper textbooks for students to use. My question is, how much money is spent on education? According to resources, only R38.75 million is spent on education. Historically, the highest amount of money spent on education has been R45.93 million.


Schools in Rural areas are not given the same funding and are not as upgraded as schools in urban areas. This lack of support is seen in the fact that the basic needs such as furniture, textbooks, safety and security in rural schools are not the same. Rich and wealthy South African citizens get the better (and in many cases) the best education the country has to offer for their children because they have better resources through work and living opportunities. The upper-class population's funds and opportunities have allowed them to place money into education systems, security, and books for their children. In today's world, there are citizens that had grown up in rural and lower-class areas that have been able to move up financially and leave the poverty they grew up in behind them. These citizens that were once in the rural areas have forgotten their roots and do not look back at their hometowns. This is sad because it prevents them from seeing how they could improve the rural areas, which were once their homes.


Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, grew up in Soweto and was educated at different schools throughout Soweto and matriculated in Matatiele. Angie Motshekga was not allowed to attend top-class schools, but she has been able to give her daughter a whole new chance at life through education. Her daughter Makgatho got a law degree from Howard University, Washington. I admire her for doing what was best for her daughter. I mean, any parent would want what is best for their child, but my point is that you should get what you want In life but never forget where you come from.


Having the broken infrastructure in a rural area (specifically in schools) is a significant disadvantage because it gives thieves the chance to steal from the schools even though they have so little. Transport to get to the areas of education is also a problem because some children have to walk as far as 3 – 4 km every single day. This walk to school takes about thirty minutes every day, depending on what route you take to school. Safety is also an issue when walking to school. This is why the department of education and the department of transport should collaborate to ensure that transport is available for students to be able to get to school every day on time and without endangering their lives.


I wonder if the education departments or the department of social development took a stand to improve these areas, how much of a significant difference we would see with the overpopulation of urban areas.


So how can the government improve schools? Government could continue to ensure that all children between the ages 7-15 are in school getting a basic education where there isn’t any inappropriate infrastructure. They should also continue to increase the number of grade 12 learners getting access to universities . If all of this was improved I am sure South Africa as a whole would function better.