Education flunks test
The education system is teetering on the edge of disaster - horror stories about dysfunctional schools hog the headlines.
And if things do not change, the country is in for a "very bleak" future, said the CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools, Paul Colditz.
The federation has 1451 governing bodies as members .
Colditz said he believed that close to 90% of schools were dysfunctional.
"You will find such schools in all provinces, though there certainly are fewer in the better-functioning provincial systems such as those of Gauteng and Western Cape," he said.
Colditz said all members of his federation agreed that the rot was worst at education departments' district offices, which act as intermediaries between schools and provincial education departments .
NGO Section 27 will be battling the National Department of Basic Education in court for the second time next month to secure the completion of the delivery of school textbooks in Limpopo and an adequate catch-up plan for Grade 10 and foundation phase pupils.
Colditz said the federation of governing bodies was satisfied with its relationship with the national education department.
"The national department is responsible for policy. The implementation of policy is at provincial level, which is where the problem lies.
Colditz said the most successful schools were those that had good governance, a strong governing body and parents who were involved in bettering their children's education.
Adding to the dire situation in the Eastern Cape's education department - which, along with the Limpopo department, has been placed under national government administration - is the possibility of the dismissal of 11000 teachers because of inadequate finances.
The DA's Annette Lovemore said one of the reasons for the shortage of money was the failure of the province to control expenditure on paying employees.
The province spends 91% of its entire budget on salaries.
Lovemore said unions had determined that "excess" teachers would not be moved to other schools where they were needed.
"This resulted in excess teachers being paid for doing very little and temporary teachers being employed to do the job "excess" teachers should be doing - thus bloating the salary bill," said Lovemore.
"With the exception of Western Cape, and possibly Gauteng, the education system is at the point of implosion."
NGO Equal Education is gearing up for a court battle with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in November.
It wants her to implement "norms and standards" for school infrastructure.