Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Public Schools vs Private Schools

I read an interesting article today about the number of kids now studying at Private Schools as opposed to those at Public Schools. A massive 50% increase in those attending Private Schools between 2000 and 2009. I'm almost certain the 2010 and 2011 school year's saw that number increase.

The full article can be found here.
The most interesting bit of the article though was reading Zwelinzima Vavi from the Congress of SA Trade Unions calling the Private Schools "bastions of class inequality."
Is this not the same Zwelinzima Vavi who lives in this plush Morningside home?


Looks like a classy bastion to me.
I'll admit there was a time not too long ago when I defended the Public School system and honestly felt that it still had tons of merit to it.
Then Government decided to step in and lower the standards across the board, and insisted that Universities lower their entry-requirements too. Suddenly our learners were studying to become Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers and Rocket-Scientists with matric standards that were so pathetic, you would think all they could hope to achieve was a life in Politics.
I guess we'll start seeing these learners filtering into the workforce in the next 3 to 5 years, when we may inexplicably have a sudden upsurge in the number of bridges collapsing, patients dying of toe-infections, life-sentences being handed out to jaywalkers and ultimately, rockets not making it out of backyards let alone out to space!

I hope I'm wrong, I seriously hope I am.
However, since I live with reality and not hope, I guess I'll keep sending my kid to a decent Private School with a rather high standard and a consistent 100% matric pass rate, comfortable in the knowledge that when she enters either the local workforce or decides to ply her trade internationally, she will have the confidence of knowing that she measures up to any standard.

I shudder to think that we build these kids hopes up by leading them into a false sense of academic achievement in secondary public schools, then dangle the carrot at tertiary institutions with lower-than-average  international standards, and when they travel abroad to compete in an open playing and paying field, they end up looking like dunces. I don't blame the learners. I blame Government who seem misguided in their attempts at churning out degrees and diplomas at any cost.