AfriForum: Transformation pressure can destroy last successful public schools
7 September 2016
The civil rights organisation AfriForum, in reaction on the comments made by the Director General (DG) of Basic Education, Hubert Mweli, that the personnel of former Model C schools need to transform more, declared that transformation pressure can cause incalculable damage to these schools.
“According to the Department’s own figures, 80% of the country’s schools are dysfunctional. Former Model C institutions predominantly count among the successful 20% of schools. The DG’s attack on them creates the impression that the Department regards quality education as inferior to a race agenda. The Department’s first priority must be the performance of schools, not the race composition of their personnel,” says Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum.
“Where race agendas become the focus of a sector, tension increases which discourages promising young people from career opportunities in it. There is already a huge shortage of young teachers in the country – the DG’s message ought to be that quality education is non-negotiable and no teacher who commits himself or herself to quality education will be omitted due to a transformation agenda or any other agenda.”
The Solidarity Movement on 31 August 2016 held a Conference for the Future (Toekomsberaad) regarding education. At this event, emphasis was placed on the fact that the Department’s interference in, amongst others, appointments, language policy and admission procedures can have an extremely adverse effect on the continued existence of public schools. Strategies were discussed on how to protect and develop outstanding Afrikaans education in the future.
“School communities must take a strong stance against messages such as those of the DG in order to ensure that quality is not placed inferior to race and ideological agendas,” adds Bailey.
Issued by Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO, AfriForum, 7 September 2016