It is encouraging that the courts are drawing lines in the sand for the authorities to adhere to, so as to minimise the damage done by the non-delivery of school books, but as with the existing graduates (and failures alike) of our dysfunctional education system, the damage has already been done and cannot easily be undone.
How do you compensate a graduate who has a certificate that is practically worthless? It is not so bad for students entering the tertiary education system because a lot of what that system does is play catch-up before moving on with the real business of tertiary education, but what of those students who don’t get those opportunities, who don’t get the chance to play catch-up? They are forever defined by their deficient education. And how do you compensate the failures, those who, almost without exception, are victims of a dysfunctional system? How do you compensate them? Social security grants and prison?
In the real world, if a vendor delivered sub-standard goods they would be required to replace them, refund the cost or even be subject to litigation. But apparently the South African education authorities do not live in the real world because they never have to face those sorts of reality. They can continue to deliver sub-standard services and not face the wrath of their customers. They are not forced to refund the costs incurred, they are not forced to re-deliver, they do not face the risk of litigation or perhaps even criminal charges for fraud. What a wonderful world they live in.
There is however the ultimate censure that can be applied to the failed education system, and that is at the ballot box. Perhaps there is enough realisation of the unbelievable fraud that has been perpetrated upon South Africa’s school-goers and parents, to generate a move of some of the faithful away from the current government and give others the chance to fix the mess.
Fixing it won’t be easy but the Direct Democracy Forum’s education policies at the very least provide an alternative view and set out to address the failings of the past as well as the needs of the present and the future. It will be a costly exercise but the DDF believe that through the application of TEAL, adequate funds will be available and that the payback in terms of skills development, economic mobility and social upliftment will be well worth the cost.
The buck stops at the ballot box.