14 November 2017

South Africa: The Folly of Overlooking the Benefits of a Good State School Education

analysis

South Africans who consider themselves informed, engaged and "woke" must urgently examine how their school choices play a role in sustaining, and actively perpetuating, the inequalities that threaten our world.

Please don't tell me you care about extreme wealth inequality if you send your children to one of South Africa's many eye-wateringly expensive private schools.

There. I've said it. The thing that's so often on the verge of tumbling out of my mouth when conversation turns, as it frequently does, to inequality's most visible impact - gut-wrenching poverty - and how to fix it.

I hold my tongue because many of those I want to say this to are friends who can't see that their self-perceived "wokeness" on the most pressing economic, social and political challenges of our time is deeply at odds with where they drop their children in the morning. For them, there is no disconnect between enthusiastically supporting #FeesMustFall, volunteering at a charity or linking, with outrage, to the latest StatsSA Poverty Report and paying obscene amounts for a single year of schooling (even before the many, many trimmings that come with upper-end private school education). After all, they only want the best for the children they...

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