The eLearning Fundi

Random reflections about eLearning in Africa

How to create poverty and intellectual dominion in the education system

Educational news coming over the weekend was not pleasant at all. It seems, at least to me, that what we are doing is creating poverty and perpetuating intellectual dominion over the already poor and already disproportionately marginalised majority. This is how.  Majority of teachers teaching grades 1-3 do not only have the disciplinary knowledge to teach at that level, but also do not have the essential critical thinking and problem solving skills. What this means, is that most of the pupils going to schools where these teachers are will end up as “below-average” citizens. That is, they will never be leaders in any context that requires critical thinking and problem solving.

All this, is when private schools are making JSE-index beating gains. That is, the failure of the public schooling system has created such a good business case that investing in it is better than investing in other blue chip companies. It does not take a lot of intellectual power to know that kids in these private schools were not sampled in the report above. It also does not take a lot of effort to know that the parents who can afford the fees at these private schools are, themselves, already established and stable – socially and economically. The kids in these schools will end up taking all the future jobs that require high-level critical thinking and problem solving. Is that the reason for their education?

The net-effect will be that the poor will become poorer and the rich will forever intellectually dominate them. The saddest bit though is that the poor are the majority.  All this will happen as we point fingers to each other on our level of responsibilities instead of acting. History will judge us, therefore, as a generation that presided over the creation of the worst kind of poverty and intellectual dominion.

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