Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

It is absolutely appalling that SA ranked last out of 50 countries in the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, which found that 78% of SA’s Grade 4s cannot understand what they read.

Our mathematics also received an inauspicious ranking in 2015, with grade 4s graded second-last out of 48 countries. This is exceptionally bad news for our country’s future. Not only is it humiliating, but it is an insult to the children who must eventually lead our country.

Speaking at the African Terminal Operators Conference Africa in Durban on Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma said Africa needed to develop its manufacturing capabilities and achieve industrialisation. How on earth is this going to be possible with the current education system?

The ANC and government need to take full responsibility for the failures in our education system that have led to this catastrophe. The government still cannot see its shortcomings in its other departments, many of which are beyond dysfunctional as a result of cadre deployment. Yet at ANC conferences, they deliver well-worn, meaningless platitudes while dancing and singing.

The truth of the matter is that the ANC is a spent force and will become a relic in history after 2019. The future government will be a coalition of parties. Thereafter, citizens can look forward to a series of criminal trials of those who abused their positions of trust in government.

Nathan Cheiman

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