- As a general education policy, the Direct Democracy Forum (DDF) will be looking both nationally and internationally at systems and processes that work best, and will adopt those strategies it believes will work best for SA’s beleaguered education system, and, importantly, for its students.
- The DDF will put well qualified educators in every classroom in the country, from pre-school to secondary school, and instill in each and every teacher a teaching ethic that exceeds mere classroom attendance and drawing a salary at the end of each month.
- We want teachers to become cherished members of the societies they serve, who are well educated, good educators, highly motivated and well rewarded. The implementation of TEAL as a tax strategy and Basic Income Grants and a voucher system will provide the necessary funds and tools for achieving that ambition.
- The DDF will develop a learning ethic amongst students. We will resource all classrooms adequately, tolerate no violence or misbehaviour in the classrooms and school yards, and insist on absolute security and respect for teachers and fellow students.
- Students who are unwilling to learn and are unable to pass annual promotion examinations will be held back to repeat the year they failed in. They will be held accountable for their performance.
- Students who prove they cannot be accommodated in the general student population will, after appropriate psychological assessment, be accommodated in special needs or remedial units either in their own school or in a school within their community.
- The emphasis will be to address the needs of these students and give them the special care required for them to complete their education and be reintegrated into the general education population as best as possible and as soon as is possible.
- For tertiary education the DDF will:
- Un-bundle the bundling of technicons with universities.
- Un-bundle some of the university mergers (basically reinstate the pre bundling university profiles) and give universities much greater freedom in defining their academic, social and cultural profiles.
- Engage the educators of the land in designing as an adjunct to existing systems of university entry, a more graduated advancement from high schools to technical colleges through to university entry, for students who qualify at each level, so as to provide an alternate and much more integrated process of advancement through the system than the system currently provides. This will not supersede nor replace the present system. Merely add to it.
- The DDF will ensure that every student who wishes to and qualifies to attend university or technicons will be financially enabled to do so. This will require paying back the funds advanced from increased income gained from graduation, and can involve post-graduate service contracts, where appropriate, by way of pay-backs for financial support of graduate and post graduate studies.
- The DDF will largely cease direct funding of educational facilities and in place thereof will institute a system of vouchers, held by students and or their parents/guardians and exchanged for services rendered by educational facilities, which in turn will be treated by education facilities as legal tender to be deposited in institutions’ bank accounts. This will enable students/parents to go to the institutions of their choice and importantly enable greater mobility of students between competing schools/institutions.
- The voucher system will apply at all South African pre, primary and secondary school scholars and for South African tertiary students wishing to enter the funding program. The payback requirement will only apply to tertiary education students.
- In time the voucher system will be paid for from the Basic Income Grant by deduction of all or some of the voucher values from the BIG.
The DDF believe that quality education begins in Early Education. To this end DDF will;
- introduce universal and compulsory access to early education
- Ensure that care providers in early education centres are qualified professionals
- Fund the training of pre-school teachers through the application of TEAL and the voucher/ advance system for higher education repayable from the ‘profits’ generated by graduates from their increased earnings capabilities arising from their advanced education and training and or from post graduate service contracts.
Primary and Secondary Education:
Primary and Secondary education will also be largely funded through vouchers placed in the hands of parents/guardians exchangeable for services rendered by primary and secondary education facilities. The value of the vouchers will be pitched to include the essentials of basic education. Non essential elements of education will need to be self funded. So Karate and Ballet classes, unless part of a matriculation syllabus, will need to be funded by direct parental contributions (aka additional fees). The voucher system will mostly replace direct funding of schools by the state. In effect this means that the state will enable the parents to directly fund the schools of their choice. The state, by stipulating the purposes for which the funds may be used, will ensure that certain basic educational needs are met by the schools.
Further Education and Training:
As part of the DDF’s contention that every person in the country should have the right to be educated and trained to be fit for employment:
- the DDF will embark on a major drive to train and educate every unemployed person in the country.
- The DDF are prepared to pledge the cost of training and the cost of living for every person engaged in the program, initially at the state’s cost, but collectable after graduation from the additional income derived by graduates from their advanced education.
- The DDF’s contention is that it is far better to pay for the cost of making our population skilled and employable than it is to pay for the cost of their welfare for the rest of their lives.
The DDF will also merge these new-found skills in the employment market to create much needed housing and infrastructure and communities within which South African citizens can work, live and play with dignity and pride.
Education Support Services:
A DDF administration will ensure that adequate support services are provided for parents and schools, to ensure the effective management of schools. In particular, every school will have a designated psychologist available to evaluate and support at-risk students.
The DDF wish they could turn back the clock and undo all the damage that has been done to students and scholars under ANC administration but regrettably that is not possible. Application of DDF education policy will come as a shock to many who have never been asked to do even the most simple things. They will be asked to do things that are much more than simple in order to advance. Hopefully they will understand why they are now expected to perform To those who have already passed through the system, we can only do our best to make up for the shortfalls in their education through further education and training programs.
The DDF want education to be the most sought after profession in the land and want a Matriculation Certificate that will be accepted without question for entry to tertiary education systems and entry to the work place.
This is the bare bones of DDF intentions which we will develop into strong policy, in cooperation with educators and educational institutes nation-wide.