I was just talking to my friend who recently came to America from Kenya. We were of course discussing the many disparities in the educational, political, and financial systems. Today, my friend brought something new to my attention. I knew that there was a form of free education in South Africa, but I never really understood it. He explained that if you receive a grade of C or better on the South African equivalent of the SAT, then you are referred to continue your education. However, if you do not meet that requirement you not only cannot continue your education but you also can be rejected for certain types of employment.
So what happens to D students? Well apparently they get D-jobs, marry in their D-class, buy a D-home, and live a D-live. Then they transfer that same life to their children. Sound familiar?
America may not have a D-system, but the funding of education seems to lead to similar situations. President Kgalema Motlanthe said this:
“Positive examination results are a barometer not only of the learners’ achievement but also of what the efficiency of our education system is. In a country such as ours beset by accumulated disabilities that limit people’s ability to enjoy the fruits of freedom, education is a single critical equaliser. In other words, for a nation like ours to defeat social ills such as poverty and inequality, we need a strong education system that empowers ordinary South Africans to respond with confidence to the imperatives of modern society. As proven elsewhere in the world, education plays a pivotal in the economic growth and development of a country. To this end, tireless efforts revolving around skills development, research and innovation programmes often help countries to modernise and grow their economies. Flowing from this consideration, government has consciously elevated education as one of our five priorities, the others being health, creation of jobs, rural development and fighting corruption.”
Hopefully South Africa is taking the steps to prevent the D-Life cycle. in the same way, the United States can begin to set standards to create equity in the American education system.