Numbers vs Education

Week 10 – 9 March 2012

Since the conception the ANC in the beginning of the previous century, black consciousness groups realized that they needed numbers to enable it to overthrow the government. In South Africa, then under British rule as the Union of South Africa, the poor population, black and white, was already growing at an uncontrolled pace where parents just could not care properly for their many offspring and also lacked the financial support to prepare them for a future where they can start their own independent lives.

Following the devastation caused by the Anglo Boer war where farm houses were burned down and crops and livestock destroyed, the poor white farmers had to offer their help on farms basically for a roof over their heads and some food on the table, never giving up or rejecting the education they received from their parents and never giving up their dream of an independent South Africa, free of British rule.

By getting educated in mining and other skills required by the developing mining section, they eventually managed to uplift themselves to ensure that their children got the education they missed out on. This lives on in many former model C schools which are additionally financed by parents, who take an active interest in their kids’ schooling to ensure that the education level stays way above the minimum levels required from government.

England, through controlling the mines and mineral resources of this country, kept the whole population from developing as an independent nation. Firstly by separating black families by establishing male-only compounds at the mines where wives were not allowed and secondly by trying to ban Afrikaans at the schools in Afrikaans speaking communities. It was only at a much later stage, when South Africa declared independence from Britain an proclaimed a Republic, that South Africa was free to embrace its own manufacturing sector and became economically viable, introduce its own currency and did not relying on the mineral wealth as its only source of income.

When free birth control contraceptives were made available in South Africa it was rejected by the black population, not realizing the obvious fact that overpopulation leads to poverty and the exhaustion of natural resources. This fact is still denied in many black cultures, including Cope17, the world conference which is supposed to present the world with ways to stop pollution and the abuse of natural resources.

During the sixties, black people looked down on education as a government conspiracy who tried to control the poor population, just as the English did to the Afrikaans nation following the Anglo Boer war. Because of this South Africa went through a rough stage of education resistance while schools were stoned or burned down. With that, the seed was sown that education is not all that important.

When the ANC took over government, they immediately started closing down the teacher education colleges as well as the apprentice training facilities. They also made thousands of white teachers redundant with no workable solution as to ensuring that there will be enough teachers for the young generation, mainly black, as well as how to train youngsters to replace the existing force of skilled workers lost through affirmative action.

Unfortunately for the ANC, the same way of showing contempt against the ruling government through education is rearing its ugly head again. Black scholars in the Cape Province are stoning their own schools because they claim it is too small to accommodate all the learners.

Is this perhaps due to the fact that the surrounding population kept on growing because of the earlier encouragement of poor women to produce as many kids as possible as well as the still ongoing grants being paid to mothers, encouraging them to have more children than they really can afford? Unfortunately the ANC never cared to plan for this increase in population after they took control of South Africa by numbers, neither the actual cost of raising and educating a child.

The destruction of schools also means the loss of facilities to facilitate a proper education. In stead of destroying it, rather revert in future to the poling stations to ensure that a capable government, who would care for your needs, is put in control.