If you live in the northern areas of Port Elizabeth, your life chances as a young black child are already slim. The familiar blights of drugs, gangs and unemployment make for a lethal cocktail of problems from which few youth escape.Which raises the question: Why is there no public outcry about the fact that since the school year started more than 50 schools in the area had not started classes? If there is a slim chance of escaping the daily, deadening churn of existence in this part of the country, it is education. Worse, the parents seem to conspire with the dysfunction of the education department to keep these poor children out of school.Activist parents want more teachers at a ratio of about one teacher to 30 children. The department either does not want to provide that level of staffing and/or it cannot afford additional personnel against a straining compensation bill. It does not matter — the children‘s slim life chances are now reduced to less than zero.I have long discovered...

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