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We need to edge closer to closing the gap in the quality of education

As an avid reader of blogs and threads on social media, I came across complaints by mothers (and fathers) on the costs of education, as was expected at the start of a new academic year.

School uniforms are expensive, stationery lists are long and exorbitant; I have read of parents who, upon their children’s first day at school, are met with a list of “missing textbooks” that have incurred a fee. This is not provisioned for in the Januworry budget.

A serious conversation that needs to be had is about the seemingly rising costs of a basic education.

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Granted the government has put in some effort to subsidise education, like no fee-paying schools, but not every child can attend these schools and certainly, by means of the composition of the modern family, not every family or household will qualify for school fee exemption.

While for many parents, the public schooling system is not an option, based on the questionable pass mark requirements, the access to extramurals and teaching infrastructure; private schooling is financially out of reach for most.

Former model C schools once filled the gap between previously disadvantaged schools and private schools. These schools were top tier and could compete toe to toe with 100% private schools.

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Yet, as school governing bodies (SGB) gained more and more confidence in school administration, the noose around the schools became tighter. Example: Glenvista High.

I attended the school in the early 2000s. It ran smoothly with every need of ours met and though the environment had a tinge of toxicity, the school functioned.

Fast forward a few years and the SGB was basically looting. The school has lost its spark. Are SGB’s as good as we thought they are?

Whatever the case may be, education needs to go back to being accessible. We need to edge closer to closing the gap in the quality of education.

Quality education cannot be so unattainable when already so much is reserved for the haves in this country. South Africa really needs to do better.

ALSO READ: Overcrowding in public schools has become a national problem, says Motshekga

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/education/we-need-to-close-gap-quality-education/

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