South Africa’s education system is laden with problems.These problems include lack of resources, inequalities of the past, bad infrastructure and a shortage of critical skills.
These problems are even more significant in the Limpopo and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. These two provinces have seen a significant drop in the performance of matric students.
According to the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the 2017 matric exams in Limpopo obtained a pass rate of 65.6%, while Eastern Cape managed only a 65% pass rate falling to the bottom of all nine provinces in the country.
It must be noted that these figures are against the national pass average of 75.1%.
This is the reason the Tim Tebeila Foundation (TTF), in partnership with Inside Education, launched the Africa Education Indaba last week.
The Indaba, which took place over two days, Thursday and Friday, was used to mobilise a cross section of stakeholders in the education sector in Limpopo.
The idea was for these stakeholders to work and discuss a way forward towards improving the matric results in the province.
The Indaba provided stakeholders an opportunity to share perspectives on challenges, best practices, management and supervisory experiences, lessons learnt and other dimensions pertaining to the performance of matric learners.
The conference was attended by policy makers, education experts, academics, community leaders, educator representatives and the NGO sector.
In an interview with Inside Education, TTF founder Dr. Tim Tebeila explained the reason behind this Indaba.
“Ultimately, the poor performance of matriculants hampers the vision of making South Africa a winning nation, as our youth fall behind their international counterparts. We can’t afford for our children to fall behind,” said Tebeila.
Tebeila explained that even though the launch took place in Limpopo, the vision of the Africa Education Indaba is to subsequently use the lessons learnt in Limpopo to extend the interventions to the Eastern Cape province.
“Our long‐term vision is to have a national and even continental footprint,” said Tebeilla.
He added that even though much has been written and argued about the myriad complexities and problems that continue to characterise our education system in South Africa, there has been no solutions.
The broader mission of the Tim Tebeila Foundation is to contribute to the building of sustainable communities, and ultimately to be part of transformation processes that will lead to a prosperous South Africa and a resilient Africa in general.
The Indaba was attended by South Africa’s minister of basic education Angie Motshekga and the MEC for Education in the Free State Dr. Tate Makgwe.