Rural education meltdown
HALF of South Africa's blacks of school-going age live in former homelands which are suffering a crippling education meltdown.
According to the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation's mid-term review of the priorities of the government, the schools of the former homelands are more likely to be without books and administrators, and to have under-qualified teachers.
The review, published in March, revealed that "rural areas bear the brunt of poverty, joblessness and gross inequality - particularly former homeland areas where more than a third of South Africans still live".
Since democracy, the government has committed itself to bridging the gaps in education. Despite making some strides between 1994 and 2009 to unify the education system, school performance has remained a stumbling block.
"Though education budgets increased to around 5.4% of GDP in 2009 - relatively high for a developing country - the increase in expenditure did not result in a marked improvement in education results," the report said.
"South Africa was outperformed by countries spending less per capita on education, and the economy is struggling to find the skills it needs for its growth."
Poverty was a big problem. Malnutrition is still high in rural South Africa and the 2010 general household survey found that Eastern Cape had the highest percentage of households without adequate sanitation.
The Eastern Cape department of e ducation was placed under administration in March last year after failing to address problems such as the appointment of teachers and the supply of stationery and school transport.
The provincial school nutrition programme collapsed.