IN an open letter, the Concerned Young People of South Africa (CYPSA) has decried the state of education in South Africa, including proposed new legislation, the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill, which seeks to curtail the powers of SGB structures.
Vice chairman Bongiwe Mhlongo said in the letter:
“We, the children of South Africa, bemoan the sad fact that while we eagerly wait for our long-promised textbooks to be delivered on time, we have been kidnapped!
We already find large fingers covering our mouths, forcing us to be quiet. We are being side-tracked from promising futures by people who act as though they care for us and our learning of maths, science and all languages.
New proposed legislation seeks to make us slaves of the state; stolen from our parents and communities. Public schools will soon be captured and turned into State schools.
Why does the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill belittle our parents, communities and community leaders by taking away their voice — is this democracy?
This new onslaught comes from those who should be the strongest custodians of our future.
The centralists want absolute control of all, even our school governing bodies and the appointment of new teachers (according to the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill).
Our resources, which could have secured a bright future, have been looted and squandered.
We witness a chaotic parliament calling each other names, making cat calls while others speak. Is this then the type of classroom environment in which they would like us to learn our maths, science and languages when they are in control?
They are attempting to steal us from our parents’ homes, and to organise us into a one-shoe-fits-all education system. We are heading again towards apartheid, where the government of the time forced Afrikaans on us.
Are they so determined to force their own ideology on us? Why all this haste? The rural communities have once again been marginalised. Community leaders disowned of their rights!
These amendments are only available in Afrikaans and English! Shouldn’t these proposed amendments first have been published in all our official languages? Indeed, our democracy is dying
Who is the author of this new policy? A centralist in disguise with ulterior motives? Why are they rushing this bill past us? Our futures and studies hang in balance!
Will our future study of history consist of lessons on corruption since that is all that seems to be happening in the current corridors of power?
We oppose these amendments that strip the SGBs of power. We propose that the Government gets its act together and educate the nation.
The Department of Basic Education has not yet demonstrated its capacity to provide relevant and meaningful education, because it is playing a neverending game with laws and curricula.
Through it all, we South Africa’s children and youth have become another lost generation.
Who will rescue us?”