7 January 2014

Southern Africa: "Many Pupils Face Poverty, Hopelessness" Southern Africa Primate

Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba has bemoaned the deficiencies in South Africa's educational system despite improvements in the matric pass rates.

In a statement on the exam results released Tuesday the Archbishop said the deficiencies, "sentence many a pupil to a life of utter poverty, hopelessness and inequity."

He added, "As an anxious parent who has waited with the rest of the country this year for matric results, I want to congratulate those who have worked hard and earned impressive results. Thanks to the teachers and parents who supported them."

At the Provincial Synod held in October last year, Archbishop Makgoba put education as a top priority for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and charged that, "good education is at the heart of the Church's capacity to grow."

"The Department of Basic Education needs a pat on the shoulder for better results all round," he said. "But it has to be said that despite the improvement in passes at the bachelor's level, a 30 percent pass rate is still woefully inadequate."

Despite receiving a big share of government spending, the education sector in South Africa still face a lot of challenges such as poorly trained teachers in some township schools as well as poor infrastructure.

The Archbishop said the relationship between poor school infrastructure and results is evident in the Eastern Cape and urged educators to "summon up the determination to turn this around while the church commits itself to shoulder responsibility for pushing for change."

Abp Makgoba also encouraged those that did not pass their exams not to give up. He said: "For those who did not make it, it is not the end of the world. We urge you to rewrite exams, or re-register for this year."

The Archbishop ended his statement with a call for a serious commitment to a "better education for all with a bias towards redress in rural and township areas."

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