Advocates for Change
We’ve been reading Advocates for Change by M. Mbeke, a book in which Jonathan Jansen (an educationalist and the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State in South Africa) outlines the situation within the country in terms of education. Jansen (2011:102) states that:
“As far back as 2001, the SACMEQ (Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Equality) Grade 6 study showed South Africa had the biggest gap in reading scores between rich and poor.”
We believe that one of the ways we will see justice and equality in this country is when children from ‘poor’ backgrounds are given the same opportunities as children from ‘rich’ backgrounds. Unfortunately in South Africa rich often refers to whites and poor often refers to blacks. Although we believe all children have potential, one of the reasons they don’t have the necessary opportunities to fulfil this potential comes down to a lack of knowledge and skills amongst teachers in the poorer schools (Mbeki, 2011). Through what we’ve have been reading, conversations with friends and teachers, and what we see happening in the schools that we work alongside, God has been showing us that there is a need for change, a need for a different approach.