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 students. 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, inequality still exists within the education sector. 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).
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.” Soul Action entirely agrees; access to good quality education for all children will support in bringing equality to what is at present a very unequal society. An education which means every child can positively contribute to society, have better job prospects and the opportunity for economic independence.
For the past seven years Soul Action has invested time and energy into developing their Education Program so that every child children can have access to good quality education; an education where every child is encouraged to reach their full potential. Soul Action facilitates the following programs in working towards realising the vision:
- Skills development program for Grade R and 1 educators focusing on how to teach children reading and writing skills (isiZulu)
- Skills development program for Grade 2 and 3 educators focusing on how to teach children reading and writing skills (English)
- Leadership development program for Heads of Department
- Skills development program for reading volunteers (English and isiZulu)
- Soul Action is also dreaming of a different model for education; a school where every child has access to excellent education and the opportunity to fulfil their God given potential as fees link to a family’s income. Please click here to read more.
Department of Basic Education (2011) Action Plan to 2014, Pretoria
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 [Accessed 28 December 2015]