Jansen urges teachers to be the handymen of SA's broken schools

31 August 2018 - 16:34 By Lwandile Bhengu

Educationist‚ academic and author Jonathan Jansen has slammed the government for not caring about the education of the poor.

Jansen was delivering the keynote address on the final day of a three-day National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) conference on Friday where he said: “I have come to the conclusion‚ and it wasn’t an easy one‚ that government doesn’t care about the education of the poor.”

He said that if the government did care to fix the country’s education system‚ they should put more focus on improving preschool education‚ “which has the greatest need”‚ as opposed to tertiary education‚ “which has the loudest noise”.

“I will tell you why this government and Cabinet doesn't care about poor schools‚ it’s because their kids are in fancy schools and that is fundamentally wrong‚” said Jansen to the applause by teachers and principals present at the conference in Durban’s Elangeni Hotel.

Jansen spoke about racial inequality and segregation in the school system and how fixing this would be a step in the right direction to repairing South African schools.

“The biggest problem we need to overcome [in schools] is inequality … most of our children are not in integrated schools‚ most of them are stuck in segregated schools‚ black schools around the country‚” said Jansen.

He urged teachers to take a more active role in mending the education system.

“The government isn't going to change the school system for us‚ each one of us will change it and the state of our children‚” he said.

Naptosa executive director Basil Manuel agreed‚ saying: “We do need‚ as Naptosa‚ to embrace education as a value. It's a value‚ not a commodity‚ if we don't do it we don't pass it on to the next generation of teachers.”