THE STATE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE TRANSFORMATION AGENDA

The access for educational resources is a mirage to most African students that are admitted in institutions. The computer labs are limited and assumption of educators is that all students have a computer with Internet excess in the manner in which assignments and other assessment instruments have to be presented. Accommodation and catering is being privatised or profit is required to create environment of stress among African students which then leads to poor academic performance. The education system is very quick on academic exclusion without looking into environmental factors that contribute to poor performance. There is even a new fancy term called “academic deserving” linked to finance and admission.

The education system remains Eurocentric in its methods and methodology of gathering, classification, analysis, application and ownership of knowledge. There is neither political will nor intellectual resolve to Africanise the context and content of our education. The well established African epistemology and pedagogy remain buried in Arabic and European dungeons. There is no attempt to include indigenous knowledge systems into the main stream of education regardless that these are practiced and influence the psyche of majority of the people in the country.

African people must with immediate effect look at education as an investment rather than a cost operation. The cost-benefits analysis and other economic model used to analyse education spending should be radically revised. Educational revolution must results in greater access to all African people, content reflective of African context and change philosophy of education.

By Sbusiso Xaba

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