Event Title

Demystifying the Education Crisis: An Analysis of the Foundational Causes for Poor Academic Outcomes in South African Rural Schools

Presenter Information

Thobeka Mnisi, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 127

Start Date

4-27-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2018 3:20 PM

Abstract

Since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, education has been promulgated as an equalizing principle to elevate people out of poverty, support democracy and contribute towards the unraveling of apartheid foundations. The government has undertaken education reform with fervor, aiming to eradicate past injustices, and replace a racially hierarchical system with one of fairness, equality and universal accessibility. Yet, while South African has experienced some successes in equalizing education, the overhaul of apartheid policy has seen as many delays and disappointments as it has successes, and it appears that these setbacks may eclipse whatever successes we have attained. Rural schools have especially suffered, and consistently fall behind the national average on test scores, graduation rates and literacy rates. This study investigates what makes rural schools particularly susceptible to academic failure compared to their urban counterparts. I hypothesize that rural schools trail behind because various factors that militate against educational progress, such as insufficient funding and teacher shortages, perpetuate a cycle of deprivation that leads to an alienating school environment. It is this alienation under conditions of scarcity that leads to colossal failure.

Keywords:

equal education, accessibility, multilingualism, black consciousness

Notes

FEATURED PRESENTATION
Session IV, Panel 13 - Marginalized | Education
Moderator: Gina Pérez, Professor of Comparative American Studies

Major

Politics

Advisor(s)

Eve Sandberg, Politics
Charmaine Chua, Politics
Darko Opoku, Africana Studies

Project Mentor(s)

Eve Sandberg, Politics

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Apr 27th, 2:00 PM Apr 27th, 3:20 PM

Demystifying the Education Crisis: An Analysis of the Foundational Causes for Poor Academic Outcomes in South African Rural Schools

King Building 127

Since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, education has been promulgated as an equalizing principle to elevate people out of poverty, support democracy and contribute towards the unraveling of apartheid foundations. The government has undertaken education reform with fervor, aiming to eradicate past injustices, and replace a racially hierarchical system with one of fairness, equality and universal accessibility. Yet, while South African has experienced some successes in equalizing education, the overhaul of apartheid policy has seen as many delays and disappointments as it has successes, and it appears that these setbacks may eclipse whatever successes we have attained. Rural schools have especially suffered, and consistently fall behind the national average on test scores, graduation rates and literacy rates. This study investigates what makes rural schools particularly susceptible to academic failure compared to their urban counterparts. I hypothesize that rural schools trail behind because various factors that militate against educational progress, such as insufficient funding and teacher shortages, perpetuate a cycle of deprivation that leads to an alienating school environment. It is this alienation under conditions of scarcity that leads to colossal failure.