A report on South African schools through the example of Kwa-Mfundo High School in Khayelitsha, one of the schools where EE membership is strong. Click here to link to the full article in the New York Times, by Celia W Dugger.
KHAYELITSHA, South Africa — Seniors here at Kwamfundo high school sang freedom songs and protested outside the staff room last year because their accounting teacher chronically failed to show up for class. With looming national examinations that would determine whether they were bound for a university or joblessness, they demanded a replacement.
We kept waiting, and there was no action,” said Masixole Mabetshe, who failed the exams and who now, out of work, passes the days watching TV.
The principal of the school, Mongezeleli Bonani, said in an interview that there was little he could do beyond giving the teacher a warning. Finally the students’ frustration turned riotous. They threw bricks, punched two teachers and stabbed one in the head with scissors, witnesses said.
The traumatized school’s passing rate on the national exams known as the matric — already in virtual free fall — tumbled to just 44 percent.
Thousands of schools across South Africa are bursting with students who dream of being the accountants, engineers and doctors this country desperately needs, but the education system is often failing the very children depending on it most to escape poverty.