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Compulsory community service for all South African graduates?

The South African government is looking at the possibility of introducing compulsory community service for all university graduates, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande recently said at the ANC’s national general council (NGC) in Durban.

The reasoning behind this imperative arises from the current compulsory community service performed by medical doctors after completing their degrees.” Why only do this for doctors”, he said.

Nzimande also emphasized other imperatives as well. He suggested a whole range of roles that young graduates can play, for example  accountants, engineers etc who can be used by rural (and) local government.

Community service can also help youg graduates acquire the necessary skills and work experience.

A lot of unemployed graduates are unable to find work, and this will give them opportunity. Then there is also the aspect of graduates giving something back to the country.

To read more go to Stuart Graham’s article on News 24 by Clicking Here!

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Fixing South African schools a 30 year task

Graeme Bloch, an education specialist at the Development Bank of Southern Africa recently wrote an article in the newspaper, Pretoria News about the dire straight South African schools are in. According to him a  toxic mix of problems keeps South Africa’s schools and educational institutions in a state of disaster, neither able to meet the skills needed in a growing economy nor able to provide jobs opportunities to youths.

In the article he highlights failures in the SA education system and discusses many of the problems South African schools face.

According to the Bloch fixing education will be a 30-year task, which must start now, with urgency.
Everyone should be on board, unified around a vision for a learning nation.  Priorities should be identified, phases for restoration should be stipulated, and a starting point chosen.  The debate around this should not be once-off, but a process.

Bloch further highlights some elements that could help focus such a restoration plan.

– “Teachers. How do we motivate the teachers? With training and clear texts, quality can rise. Through a mixture of encouragement and support – where necessary ‘gently’ holding recalcitrants’ feet to the fire, teachers will be central to the national endeavour. The best of our generations should aspire to teach”.

– “Departments must do their part, especially at provincial level. Fill vacant and ‘acting’ posts, manage properly, deliver on time and at the right place. The focus should be on management and follow through, responsibility and accountability”.

– “Society can rally around to ensure government structures fulfill their tasks”.

– “Corporate social investment spending is increasingly focused in clusters of schools over a consistent and long period across a range of programmes of support”.

– “Many graduates can organise to plough back into schools and help in a systematic way”.

– “Community programmes such as Proudly Manenberg, Tikkun, or efforts like those by the parents of Piet N Aphane High pupils in rural Limpopo, show that schools can be improved at grassroots level”.

– “A huge change in our mindset, accompanied by a massive effort, is needed to improve the quality of education, especially in the poorer schools where the majority of the disadvantaged are”.

To read the Pretoria News Article Click Here!