Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

I could not disagree more strongly with Jeffrey Mothuloe regarding his plea for quotas at private schools for “gifted African children” (“Visionary economic policy lacking”, November 19).

The writer uses a few examples of Western countries to support his point. It is a pity he didn’t look at Canada as an example of a quality basic education provided to all citizens. Private schools are almost nonexistent in that country, which has been picked every year by the UN as an example of how governments should look after their citizens’ welfare. Canadian students are always up there with the best.

The writer makes exclusively an argument for “gifted African children”. No sir, this is not what we signed up for in 1994. South Africans did not struggle for a society consisting of an African elite and then the rest. State capture and the theft of hundreds of billion of rand were committed almost exclusively by this African elite.

What the writer forgets is that until our debt repayments caught up with us, education received the biggest slice of our budget. The critical question is, for what? In almost every international test, educational results have gone backwards over the past decade. Meanwhile, principals are earning R1m a year to oversee mostly dysfunctional schools, while new teachers now start with a salary equivalent of what principals earned just more than 10 years ago.

Jacob Zuma and Angie Motshekga thought throwing taxpayer money at our educational crisis would solve it. What is next? Asking Comair for free flights when SAA collapses, independent power producers for free electricity because Eskom left us in the dark, or that private hospitals must accept the poor for free because in state hospitals you are chained and sworn at like a prisoner?

Derek Abrahams

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