NEWS & ANALYSIS

Amnesty International looking for blame in wrong place – FF Plus

Wynand Boshoff says current dire state of education in SA not Verwoerd's fault

Amnesty International SA (AISA) looking for someone to blame for poor education in the wrong place 

31 July 2019

The humanitarian organisation Amnesty International SA (AISA) recently launched a campaign against the poor performance of education in South Africa and the public was asked to sign a petition. The initiative is good, but they are looking for someone to blame in the wrong place.

In an obvious attempt not to embarrass the ANC government with the damning information, the campaign was launched with a photo of a smiling Dr H.F. Verwoerd and the following statement: "If we don't get behind education, we are fulfilling his legacy. Sign the smile off his face and ensure this never happens."

The FF Plus considers this to be a highly divisive and counterproductive campaign and on top of that, it is based on a biased narrative of our history.

It is a cunning attempt to try and cover up the ANC government's incompetence. The fact that there is poor discipline among educators themselves, with about 30% being absent on a regular basis, is but one example of many. No mention is made of the denial of mother-tongue education and the lowering of standards.

 The reason is simple: in the ANC's struggle for power, "Liberation before Education" was not only a motto, but also a practice. Instead of improving and building more schools, they were torched and burnt down. School boycotts were at the order of the day and on top of that, the following demand was made: "One pass, all pass". 

Of all the critique that can be brought against the education policy of 1956, the fact of the matter is that the current state of education in South Africa is not Verwoerd's fault. The blame lies with the nature of the ANC's rise to power and its inability to cultivate a more constructive educational culture among its voters.

Issued by Wynand Boshoff, FF Plus MP and main spokesperson: Basic Education, 31 July 2019