Equality, equity and education – a different model
During apartheid people were classed in to different groups based on their colour. The Population Registration Act of 1950 classed people as either black, white or coloured.
Apartheid (1948 – 1994) in South Africa affected the level of education a child could access; The Bantu Education Act in 1953 separated educational facilities based on race. Differences in funding between white and black schools and student-teacher ratios negatively affected the quality of education for black learners. Overcrowded classrooms, the lack of textbooks, inadequate training for teachers and poor teaching in the classroom were features of African education. Schooling prepared young Africans for low-wage labour and protected the privileged white minority from competition.
Even though its 22 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa, inequality still exists. At present the quality of education a child receives in South Africa directly links to the amount of money a family can afford, “…the current structure of the education system dictates that if you’ve got more money, you have a better education” (Dr Gallie, 2015). Where families can’t afford to pay for schooling classes often consist of 50+ children with very limited resources and poor infrastructure (Save the Children, 2013).
We believe that one way to reduce inequality is to provide good quality education – opportunities so all children can fulfil their potential. The Department of Basic Education (2011, p.24) explains that, ‘In the South African context…reducing poverty is, to a large extent, a matter of giving South Africans a better educational start in life.’
We are dreaming of a different model for education. A model where all children can access a high standard of education whatever their economic situation. A cross-cultural school where fees link to a families income.
A model that brings into being equity.
Department of Basic Education, (2011) Action Plan to 2014, Pretoria
Save the Children, (2013) Education [online], Available from www.savethechildren.org.za/what-we-do/education [Accessed 29 May 2013]
South Africa Overcoming Apartheid Building Democracy, (2016) Bantu Education [online], Available from http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/sidebar.php?id=65-258-2&page=2 [Accessed 05 June 2016]
702 Live (2015) SA’s Top 10 most expensive schools (and are the fees worth it?) [online], Available from http://702.co.za/articles/2977/sas-most-expensive-schools-and-are-the-fees-worth-it?utm_content=bufferfeaea&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer [Accessed 28 December 2015]