Chopo Teleki, Welkom:
Every society has formal and informal education.
The aim of both informal and formal education is to develop skills, morals, habits and beliefs. As the name suggests, formal education occurs formally in schools and higher institutions of learning where teaching and learning are facilitated.
In South Africa the government is responsible for formal education, which is financed by the State. Formal education has discernible structures that have been designed by the education authorities. These structures are referred to as the education system.
Education is directly linked to economy, and to the needs of the society at large. It is for this reason that the education system should be designed in such a way that it is in line with the changing world.
Well-developed countries have designed education systems that respond to the needs of children and the demands of the economy.
Countries like China, Japan, Thailand and South Korea are examples of this. The vehicles and electrical appliances manufactured in these countries attest to this notion.
In South Africa, however, we seem to be satisfied with an education system that doesn’t benefit our children at all. We have primary schools, high schools, TVET colleges and universities that do not equip our children with skills that will enable them to challenge the changing world and the high rates of unemployment.
Take for instance some of our universities of technology, and even some of the universities, which offer qualifications such as Marketing and Human Resource Management that do not respond to the economic needs of our country.
Because redundant qualifications are offered by universities, many students who hold redundant qualifications are unable to be absorbed by the labour market. More often than not, they resort to robbery, theft or drug abuse.
What and how we teach at primary schools must also be redesigned.
Most public primary schools have children in the foundation and senior phases who cannot read and write. This problem emanates from the fact that Colleges of Education – colleges that were adequately training primary school teachers – were unilaterally closed down.
I suggest that our education system should be earnestly and honestly redesigned.
In the Goldfields we need a fully fledged university, not a university that offers redundant subjects and courses.
It should be designed in such a way that it equips our children with the skills to manufacture electrical appliances, cellphones, cars, farm implements and clothes.
The university must produce metallurgists and geologists to enable youngsters to professionally extract and analyse the minerals that are deposited abundantly in South Africa.
Our children must be vigorously taught practical agriculture and be given land where they can carry out agricultural activities.
In this way, the economy can flourish in the hands of South Africans.