In the week that South Africa’s matric results were released, international news magazine, The Economist, has declared the country’s schools as among the most inept in the world.
“South Africa has one of the world’s worst education systems,” the London-based publication reported on its online platform on Friday.
The publication reported that South Africa ranked 75th out of 76, in a ranking table of education systems drawn up by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2015.
Furthermore, reported the publication, in November, a study into trends in international mathematics and science placed South Africa at or near the bottom of a variety of categories – even though its scoring was an improvement from 2011.
The test is written by 580 000 students in 57 countries to determine these results.
South Africa’s school results were worse than even poorer countries in other parts of Africa.
“A shocking 27% of pupils who have attended school for six years cannot read, compared with 4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe,” cited The Economist.
Some of these problems could be attributed to the inequality of resources during apartheid-era Bantu Education, as well as a lack of sufficient teacher training in certain subjects, suggested the publication.
It also laid the blame on the SA Democratic Teachers Union, saying that the report published by academic John Volmink in May 2016, indicated that “widespread” corruption and abuse was occurring.
Furthermore, the lack of government response could be attributed to the fact that “all six of the senior civil servants running education are Sadtu members”, claimed the international news source.
On Wednesday, South Africa’s basic education department reported a matriculation pass rate – including progressed students – of 72.5%.