The private sector needs to adopt a model where we work closely with the responsible entities and the experts - the Department of Basic Education, NGOs, authorities and communities - to identify and address the challenges affecting our schools.
On his last day in office two years ago, retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke delivered a thoughtful judgment highlighting the importance of education to a nation's development. Moseneke quoted a storied African proverb which makes this point so vividly: "thuto ke lesedi la sechaba ... imfundo yisibani". Simply put, "education is the light of the nation".
For Moseneke, education has a "collective usefulness to communities" beyond its function as a social institution to impart academic knowledge, skills and norms to a nation's children. For millions of South Africans, a decent and affordable education is not just a constitutional right. It is a ticket to a better life.
More than 20 years after the advent of our democracy, delivering this education is proving to be a bigger challenge than we could have imagined. Faced with a range of lingering social, historic and economic...