Plagued by problems on all sides, South Africa’s education system is struggling to provide the basics to its students.
In the city of Fetakgomo, it has been discovered that several thousand textbooks remain undelivered in warehouses at a teachers’ training college, according to the newspaper Mail & Guardian. Security guards at the school would not permit the delegation to investigate the textbook boxes immediately, but several photographs were taken that provide the evidence.
In a country where textbooks are in short supply, the discovery has sparked outrage and controversy. There are at least 47 schools without all the textbooks needed.
The reason for the undelivered textbooks remains under investigation, says basic education department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.
Meanwhile, a South African teacher is facing a possible murder charge for beating a 16-year-old student to death with the head of his belt, writes The Sydney Morning Herald World.
The student, Sizwe Kubheka, died in a hospital at the end of March after the beating left him deaf, with a swollen eye, and blood clots in his nose. He came home complaining of a headache, but as the family had no means to take him to the hospital, his mother gave him painkillers. However, his condition worsened until eventually he became deaf and his eye swollen. He died several hours later from the blunt force trauma.
The South African government banned corporal punishment in schools in 1996. Unfortunately, as many as half of South African students still get beaten in schools. The offending teacher in this case has been arrested and is facing a murder charges.
Another issue in the nation involves the Manyano Network of Community Schools working to abolish the separatism shown in South African schools, reports Ed Hayward for the Boston College Chronicle. The schools of the “haves” and “have nots” show a very blatant difference in the quality of their facilities, educational resources, and teaching.
The program employs an “asset-based” approach. This approach questions local communities about what they require and which resources they can provide themselves to meet their needs, says Hayward. It also shows them how they can share with other local communities and schools to reach their goals and dreams for their students.
Some elite South African schools can rival American private schools. On the other hand, in poverty stricken areas, schools have no electricity or plumbing.