Many of SA’s schools are in deep crisis. Teaching posts are sold for money, two-thirds of provincial departments are under siege by teaching unions and literacy levels are alarmingly low. Amid all this the matrics of 2017 have emerged as heroes, with a 75% pass rate. But, says Stellenbosch University’s Prof Jonathan Jansen in a Facebook post, it is the casualties of SA’s education system, rather than its survivors, who tell a more compelling story. "Any government that prides itself on the few who succeed in school and ignores the many who don’t, has clearly lost its moral bearings," he wrote last week after basic education minister Angie Motshekga lauded the achievements of last year’s matrics. She conceded that "we have yet to cross our own Rubicon" in providing pupils with quality education, but failed to explain why 15% of the 629,155 pupils who started the matric year did not write their final exams.More than half of the pupils registered in the schooling system in grade 1 did ...

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