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I benefit from the failure of the basic education system

It’s time to admit it. You’re white and you benefited.

This is the challenge that Roger Young and Leonard Shapiro have set for white South Africans. The pair created and is selling T-shirts that read across the front: “I benefited from apartheid.” They say the T-shirts are their attempt at beginning “an important conversation about … being born into a system where whites were privileged”.

I think it a fair enough idea, though the phrase ought to be expressed in the present tense — I benefit. A quick gander at the indicators of privilege (income, asset ownership, access to opportunities) will tell you that whites still benefit from the effects of apartheid’s stacked deck, despite how some among them deny accruing a single benefit from the system and are the most vocal about the supposed hardships they face today.

The T-shirt’s Tumblr page has begun collating the responses of this vocal lot to being called out on their privilege. The results are predictable and mindboggling.

The other side of the coin is that this may devolve into “progressive” white folk wearing a T-shirt and earning cool points for acknowledging the patently obvious, yet doing little else beyond that. But let me leave white folk to their own and talk about mine instead.

It’s easy to critique another’s privilege but much harder to see your own let alone analyse and respond adequately to it. This is because privilege is an expression of relative position. Examining your own, though, is seldom a comparison of like with like. You hold up a subjective view of yourself against your outsider view of another. Your privilege you can qualify — I sacrificed this to gain that; I studied hard for this — but see little of the effort and sacrifices made by the other, often for naught. The privilege blindness becomes more acute when the relative privilege you enjoy comes at the expense of the other.

This is the only way I’ve been able to rationalise why there hasn’t been a call to arms from my people, the middle class, over the failure of this country’s public schooling system. I’d thought that we with greater access to the internet, TV and radio talk shows, news opinion pages and other public platforms would champion righting this injustice considering the effect education has had on our lives. But no.

We enjoy middle-class privilege primarily because we received a higher quality of basic education relative to what many others receive. We either lucked out and went to one of the few quality public schools there are or our parents could afford private schools — yet we credit individual efforts for our achievements. Not only that, the poor basic education received by many in this country makes middle-class privilege here all the more sweeter because we can afford things we might otherwise never been able to afford, like people to clean our homes and take care of our kids, tend our gardens, pack our groceries, open and close boomgates, pump our gas, shine our shoes … I could go on.

The point is the failure of the basic education system provides a large pool of cheap, unskilled labour to fulfil middle-class needs, whims and desires, and decreases the competition for middle-class jobs. As beneficiaries of the failure, it makes good sense, tacitly or explicitly, for us not to kick up a fuss over it, as inhumane and short term a view as that may be.

Things would be completely different if everybody received the same, high-quality basic education. There would have been tens of thousands eligible and qualified for that cushy office job you have and you’d have to clean your own house. Getting into university would have been tougher, too, if the public schooling system didn’t automatically disqualify almost 70% of those who matriculate from it.

So it’s no surprise that there was a muted response from us when Angie Motshekga said the right to education is not an immediately realisable right and that pupils should wait until government has the resources to deliver quality education. For this same reason there wasn’t as much as a peep from my people, the middle class, when the basic education department admitted that it is likely to miss its target of improving the quality of basic education by 2014.

Which is why if Young and Shapiro’s campaign achieves its stated aim, I might start producing T-shirts of my own targeted at the middle class. Across the front they’ll read: I benefit from the failure of the basic education system.


  • TO Molefe is a Cape Town-based freelance writer and editor. He is the author of Black Anger and White Obliviousness, a Mampoer short on how race matters in public dialogue in post-apartheid South Africa when black anger, white obliviousness and politics are at play. He is currently writing a narrative non-fiction book themed around race and reconciliation in South Africa. It should be out towards the end of 2014. Follow him on Twitter: @tomolefe


  1. Zeph Zeph 13 November 2012

    Yes, the Benificiaries of Apartheid (BOA) who were born into a middle class family have, materially, the same privilege as a Beneficiary of Post Apartheid (BPA). The only difference is the future as opposed to the past….

  2. Johan Kruger Johan Kruger 13 November 2012

    I see. Benefit = Blame.

  3. Alan Alan 13 November 2012

    Yeah. We benefit in the short term, it’s true. But in the long-term a stagnant economy does no one any good. We need a revolution in education – not just a steady improvement – if we’re to pull ourselves back from the edge of the pit. Whether we’re apartheid privileged or more recently privileged. So it’s in our own interest as well as the interest of social justice.

  4. Pee Pee 13 November 2012

    Benefit doesnt neccesarily require fault. But the fact remains

  5. Mr. Direct Mr. Direct 13 November 2012


    I agree with you.

    I commented on another post that I think education is the most important element in changing South Africa, and is the only sustainable way of righting the wrongs of the past. Schemes like BEE should not exist in principal (I believe making rules on skin colour is wrong), and BEE cannot work indefinitely without strangling job competition and economic growth.

    I cringe at the idea that basic education standards are in decline, it is absolutely disgraceful. Government should double, no, triple efforts to sort this out.

    As far as benefiting from apartheid is concerned, yes, I guess that opportunities were available to me that were not available to all, but my school was not that great, and further education was too expensive. The grass was not as green as you may think for every person with a white skin older than 18.

  6. Busi Busi 13 November 2012

    On the money there broer. The silence from the middle class black folk is deafening, and dare I say, sinister…
    Besides the obvious humanity factor, not many people seem to connect the dots between the continuous neglect and poverty of the masses and their own vulnerability.

    Put it this way, the more poor people there are in the country, the worse your standard of living becomes as a greater proportion of your income is spent ‘protecting’ yourself from the consequences of poverty and lack of education – crime.
    So, ja carry on living in your ivory towers while others live like animals, you’ll soon reap the rewards of your callousness.

  7. Leonard Leonard 13 November 2012

    Thank you for your article! We have added it to the “I benefited from apartheid” facebook page.!/IBenefitedFromApartheid
    Currently there is a lot of abuse and unconstructive criticism from members of a facebook group called “South Africa from the Inside”. They all read a feature on the t-shirt on Rapport The comments are appauling:

  8. jenny du toit jenny du toit 13 November 2012

    Actually, not. My ancestors were doctors and lawyers who came out with the 1820 settlers and others were French Hugenots.
    If we’re talking about privileges and lifestyle… my standard of living is exactly the same as it would have been if my family had stayed behind in the UK. I am no better off than I would have been by growing up in SA.

  9. South African South African 13 November 2012

    Even Bantu Education was better than the rubbish dished up to the children in government schools! This was said by one of the black ministers in the ANC Government some months back. University students can’t write and essay and are told in school that an essay can be written in point form with bullets! They cannot spell or distinguish the difference in meaning between quiet and quite. How desperately sad! Being educated in Afrikaans would’ve been better than what the youngsters have been told is an eucation in an ‘equal democratic’ society! Theblack middle class are no better than the Apartheid beneficieries, no thay are far worse! The freedom and equality that was fought for is no longer a priority, but rather how much each individual can line their pockets with through getting governmen tenders they do not have the skills or knowledge to implement. What a royal mess!

  10. Chrips Chrips 13 November 2012

    “Things would be completely different if everybody received the same, high-quality basic education. There would have been tens of thousands eligible and qualified for that cushy office job you have and you’d have to clean your own house. Getting into university would have been tougher, too, if the public schooling system didn’t automatically disqualify almost 70% of those who matriculate from it.”

    You do make a logical error here in that you do not recognise that an increase in educated people will lead to an increase in the size of the economy, which would lead to an increase in the number of jobs, which would lead to an increase in the tax revenue collected, which would lead to an increase in the number of universities etc.

    You seem to think that the economy is a zero sum game and you can only attain wealth by taking it from someone else, rather than creating it on your own.

    Where you are correct is that an increase in educated people would lead to a decrease in uneducated people, which would lead to an increase in the rate for the services provided by uneducated people.

  11. Leonard Leonard 13 November 2012

    I specifically state on our website that this is NOT about blame or guilt but rather about acknowledging that as a white person I did benefit from apartheid. By acknowledging this I have found that I have been able to engage in a more meaningful way with other South Africans and participate positively in economic development in South Africa.

  12. Cinekal Dlamini Cinekal Dlamini 13 November 2012

    yo my brother
    Watch this and tell me what is the relevance of the fact that white people still benefit?

    So yeah, most white people in this country and worldwide are ungrateful, ignorant, arrogant, racist wankers, but it is a RED HERRING to the bigger issue!!


  13. Thea Potgieter Thea Potgieter 13 November 2012

    Say what? You and I must not read the same history books.

    The French Huguenots didn’t swan over to South Africa on an adventurous whim. They suffered violent religious persecution in France – many were murdered or forced to convert to Catholicism, had their businesses looted, were barred from certain professions.

    Many of the 1820s Settlers were very poor and they had support and encouragement from the British Government who gave them farms and helped them settle. They were seen as a boost to the English speaking population and helped to consolidate the borders against the Xhosa people.

    So, one set of ancestors were running for their lives and the others were, I expect, following the lure of a better life.

    I don’t know what sorts of privileges or lifestyle you currently do or don’t enjoy, but saying they would have been exactly the same had your forebears not made it to South Africa is utterly disingenuous.

    Nobody is untouched by the arc of history; you cannot parcel bits off and excuse yourself.

  14. Jovy Jovy 13 November 2012

    As a nation, we are taking the “poor quality of education” for granted. It is not a secret that a Capitalist mode of production relies heavily on unskilled labour and that it perpetuates inequalities in all realms of society. Neither is it a secret that the wealth of this country is locked up by a minority! Then they treat Africans as though Africans were born stupid. Wait till a African people is conscious of the power they possess as a collective. Try explaining the Economy and what’s logical to them then and lets see how that will make it to the minds of a angry, hungry, desperate and uneducated/semi-educated “class”. These strikes that have erupted out of the blue, from the mining sector to the agricultural sector…service delivery protests, etc. Can we afford to be this ignorant and not ask ourselves whether such could have happened had people been educated properly? A ticking time bomb waiting to explode indeed. #Education for Liberation

  15. Jared Jared 13 November 2012

    great article.

  16. mundundu mundundu 14 November 2012


    being a middle-class kwerekwere, i have been screaming and hollering at my south african stepson and his friends about the importance of getting the education thing *right*.

    they go to a nice model c school [for added relevance, there’s a cabinet minister’s kid in their class], are writing matric at present, and most of them have been trying so hard to be cool and they have missed the big picture — until now, when it’s almost too late.

    my foreign friends look at the crappy south african school system and tell their friends and relatives to focus on their maths and science skills — if they do well in those subjects, then can move here and essentially get someone else to pay for it.

  17. manquat manquat 14 November 2012

    An article like this is thought provoking. In many developed countries it’s hard to find cheap labor from people within that developed country. It is a very DIY country with no cheap, unskilled labor. A pivotal question is, “How did that country get to eliminate cheap labor?” It started from when the humans in those countries were kids. Parents and even the government invested in skilling up their populations. This is exactly what we need in SA. We need to nurture our kids from a young age so that they can find their niche in life and the economy so that they can work to support themselves and families. And as so eloquently said by @Chrips. Once everyone gets empowered, the whole economy will grow as jobs will be created and not just transferred from the rich to the poor. The government needs to identify key skills that are needed in the 21st century and encourage, train and help teachers to be the best at what they do. Another thing is they need to increase the pay of successful teachers to provide them with an incentive to be the best that they can be.

  18. A Beneficiary A Beneficiary 14 November 2012

    “There would have been tens of thousands eligible and qualified for that cushy office job you have …”
    Yes, but:
    “… and you’d have to clean your own house.” (Molefe) / “[A]n increase in educated people would lead to a decrease in uneducated people …” (Chrips)
    No and no. Even if every S African were well educated, immigration would satisfy all unskilled and 3D work needs. If it weren’t so, every Scandinavian would now be cleaning their own house.

  19. David David 14 November 2012

    @ Jenny. An individual analysis renders nothing and does little to side-step the over-arching issue that Apartheid benefited only one race group. It is as simple as that. I could present a similar argument, although in the other direction, but it still does not mean I did not benefit from a skewness in education spend, healthcare, etc., etc. I don’t like it any more than you, but it is what it is….

  20. The Creator The Creator 14 November 2012

    Actually, the immense increase in the number of educated people over the last decade has not been matched by an increase in size of the economy. In reality, more and more people are scrabbling for fewer jobs. (Luckily white people tend to have better access to the right contacts and are therefore more likely to be employed than comparably-qualified black people.)

  21. Thea Potgieter Thea Potgieter 14 November 2012

    My initial comment is in response to Jenny du Toit.

  22. Mr. Direct Mr. Direct 14 November 2012


    Capitalism works on continuous growth, which requires both skilled and unskilled labour, as well as a healthy dose of managerial and supervisory skills.

    Increase in education to a point where these is no unskilled labour in the market place leads to a highly specialised product and service economy with migrant, unskilled labour or imports for raw materials.

    There is more money to be found in specialised products than in basic raw materials.

    So, anybody with a few cents and half a brain would not be complicit in degrading the education level in this country.

    Could it be that education is in decline because the government and education department are simply not good enough, rather than a short sighted conspiracy by rich people?

  23. Chrips Chrips 14 November 2012

    @ Jovy ” It is not a secret that a Capitalist mode of production relies heavily on unskilled labour” This is not true, not even ideologically. Capitalism relies heavily on specialist skills, ie. skilled labour. What is true is that, just like you when you compare the price of bread at your corner cafe to the price of bread at the Spar, and then use your freedom of choice to buy the cheapest (or tastiest) bread, the owners of a business can shop around to see where they can get labour at the cheapest (or most productive) price. At the moment it is in China and South East Asia, which is why they moved their manufacturing plants there.

    @ A Beneficiary – This will be good news to all the expats who now have to clean their own houses and iron their own clthes as it is too expensive to hire a domestic worker. Be a darling and give them the details of all the cheap unskilled labour.

    @ The Creator – Please provide evidence of your statement. According to all the research I have read the uptake of skilled Blacks in the economy is on par with the uptake of skilled Whites in the economy. I would even venture to say that a Black lawyer, accountant, engineer would easily earn 30 to 50% more than an equally qualified and skilled/experienced White lawyer, accountant or engineer.

  24. Stephen Mallory Stephen Mallory 14 November 2012

    @ Leonard

    Your comment that this is not about blame or guilt and but as a first starting point in engaging with other South Africans doesn’t seem to connect with what you are saying on your website.

    You say ‘Black people, don’t be shy…we’re sure you know some white folks who have tried to tell you that Employment Equity is racist. Get them a shirt!’

    It may be meant as a joke, but for me this strikes at the core of how problematic this is.
    It is exactly what prevents white south africans from engaging in the first place, because any criticism is rebuffed not with a debate on the actual topic, but with a reference to apartheid guilt.

    You are asking white south africans to in addition to being politically irrelevant also to just shut it and accept in silence whatever is happening to them and this country.

  25. Education Education 15 November 2012

    Everyone is missing the point. So you get inot a good school then what? You either sink or swim – and that is up to you and the brains or lack thereof, with which you have been endowed. I came from a poor family of blue collar workers. Dad std 6 and a shift worker, mom Std 8. Six kids. I made it, my siblings haven’t. Why? Same schools same upbringing. Because I was just different. I was smarter, worked my butt off and paid my own way. Couldn’t afford residential varsity and no bursaries available, so I studied correspondence. I now have a PhD and earn a good salary, but i’m definitely not a spring chicken anymore. It took years of self discipline, sacrifice and damn hard work – and my siblings now call me lucky and expect handouts! The point is that only about 2% of the world’s population is actually university “material” When people say they would have liked to have been a doctor – they don’t have a clue of what it takes to get the A aggregate needed to get into med school and that even clever, well noursihed, nurtured and schooled children have little or no chance of making the grade – for good reason. Who wants a stupid docto? The world is not equal. Everyone should have a right to a good education, and that is where there was a lack in the past. I don’t know how much of a chance I would have had in a township school. I had a “good school” advantage,because I was born white -a fact over which I had no control, but I made it happen, not the system.

  26. CUSP Consulting CUSP Consulting 15 November 2012

    The real elephant in the room is that no amount of discussion about white privilege assists a single child to learn how to spell a single word or add a single digit to another. The greatest threat to black empowerment is not while privilege, but the disempowerment that an obsession with white privilege lodges in black minds. Yes there are lingering and stubborn structural economic inequalities, but the whole point of freedom is that it liberates. It liberates the individual to take up the cause of their own betterment. When was the las time you read a book? Or read a book to your?

    Another discussion about white privilege will only result in one thing – scapegoating of an ethnic minority for the present and future failings of a segment of black rulers and citizens who do not understand what their freedom is offering them. It is offering them the liberty to learn.

  27. Tofolux Tofolux 15 November 2012

    @TO,cmon lets be realistic. Education is and will always be a challenge for all nations across the world. Noting that you make this point about middle-classism lets take Brazil eg. Brazil is one of the largest emerging middle-income countries amongst other faster growing economies in the world. Their education system however is one of the worst in the world. Comparatively speaking our educational sytem, spend per capita per child is described as boldly progressive. But in saying that, Brazil has/had similiar problems to us. The point that needs to be made about education is the fact that a discussion/review cannot he held in isolation. Education is NOT a standalone. Its like saying I have a broken machine, so now I can fix it. The disservice we do to others when talk about education, is to forget about external challenges. eg We live in a multilingual society and yet I have met the most intelligent people who are unable to articulate in English. I have also met some of the most stupidest of people who are able to articulate well in English or Afrikaans. It follows who makes a grade and who doesnt. Acknowledge the huge impact of apartheid, even today. Acknowledge that corporate failed to make their environmnts learning centres. But be real when we pose solutions and what change (not talking) will I bring. Its a societal problem. So how abt digital technology and giving every rural child a “tablet? How abt any1 of us putting our money whr our mouths are and stop pointing…

  28. The Critical Cynic The Critical Cynic 15 November 2012

    @ Education – Hear Hear!. There’s no doubt that we did benefit as whites, especially when compared to the way blacks were being treated and educated, to sat otherwise would be crass. But to think that life was automatically easy and cushy because you were white is as luducrous as thinking that these days all you need is a black skin to get into BEE heaven. The reality is still that the world works according to systems of power and connections are key in that game, not skin colour. The alternative that is open to the rest of us, as your personal experience illustrates, is to put your shoulder to the wheel, work hard, study further, and persevere on a daily basis. Well done on having the tenacity to rise above your circumstances, I hope it serves to inspire others of all colours to do the same with their lives instead of waiting for a miracle…

  29. Hugh Robinson Hugh Robinson 15 November 2012

    Of coarse let us not forget that many whites do not mind rising to the occasion when it comes to putting in the extra hours. They will work extended hours and show that are by far mare reliable when it comes to work ethic and standards. Those that do not get left behind.

    I work with people who although highly qualified [ for SA standards ] knock off at exactly lunchtime and home time. No matter the urgency they refuse to work the extra bit of over time or give up a weekend.

    These seem incapable of understanding that they are being left behind in the money and promotion stakes. The same however are the first to go on strike or complain that they do not earn enough. Sadly everyone of the same know there is a white man that will carry the burden and make sure it all gets done.

  30. Thandinkosi Sibisi (Mr) Thandinkosi Sibisi (Mr) 15 November 2012

    I am a 61 year old black person who benefited from a good education in a catholic school.(during the days of apartheid) I then went on to get several degrees including a British degree.I am not rich , but I am one of those who are relatively “priviledged”. My adult kids who did not grow up under apartheid have done even better,but I digress….

    There is a fundamental flaw in the logic of T O Molefe,s argument as well as in this whole blog.It is the apparent widespread belief that we can only benefit at the expense of someone else.Let us say there are many potential Einsteins black or otherwise who did not realise their potential thanks to apartheid education during the apartheid era, poor schooling in some dysfunctional township school or whatever (not all township schools are dysfunctional by the way nor are all ex model c scholls excellent. I should know. I work in the department of education).

    Who benefited?No one! Who lost? Everyone! Nobody benefits through some people failing to reach their potential.If the Nazis had their way they could have got to Einstein before he made some of his contributions! How many Einsteins, white black or yellow have been lost through dysfunctional schools ,apartheid or whatever?If some mediocre person lives a fatcat lifestyle on unearned wealth while a potential Einstein dies without making a contribution to humankind , nobody gains, we all lose! Period

  31. blogroid blogroid 15 November 2012

    There were two things about this that entertained me… the first was the bizarre idea that i… whitey “benefitted’ from Apartheid. In the early 1950’s [so-called] white ‘saffers’ were amongst the top five richest ‘white’ societies on earth … by 1994 they were amongst the bottom five poorest ‘whiteys’ on earth. That was how we benefitted from Apartheid… the schmucks. All other ‘whiteys’ on Earth took off on a wealth growth curve that accelerated itself into the stratosphere while we idiots got down and dingy being so obsessed about the sleeping habits of [so-called] ‘black’ people we basically screwed ourselves. Double schmucks. Maybe this is something you don’t really want to hear though.

    To even hold the opinion you present in the opening of your essay indicates how little you grasp, of the staggering growth in real wealth on our planet: no offence intended.

    Then secondly you have the correct interpretation of the collapse in the education system benefitting you personally… but that is really because the new education system is so badly understood by all who waffle about it.

    Get it: it is NOT intended for mass education: it is an elite driven concept for those who will have the conceptual intelligence to grasp the nettle of being a cog in the new ‘information’ economy… For everybody else there is the FET training system that is being carefully ignored by the department itself, who [seemingly] really do not understand what they have…

  32. Tofolux Tofolux 16 November 2012

    Its quite laughable that certain persons would actually declare on a public forum that they did not benefit through a barbaric system. Not only do they do this laughable thing, they also give us as many reasons as to why we should think that they are not indeed beneficiaries. This is denialism in its purest form. The other joke however is the apologists. Not only do the apologists declare their educated status (as if this status must prove the point that their apology is serious) one would expect education to give you a clearer clarity. @TO, you are so correct in the description and declarations and maybe we should consider running a campaign for the ”denialists” and ”apologists” as well? How about a T shirt campaign in this regard? But seriously, how will we heal this nation when the material conditions evidences this huge scale denialism and apologism?

  33. Graham Graham 16 November 2012

    Hi TO
    I cannot deny that I received a better education than if we lived in an equal society.
    – I cannot unlearn what I know
    – I did not really have a say. Would I have declined it? nope.
    – The job I gained from this education benefits government around R10,000 per month
    in taxes.

    People on these forums can call me a beneficiary or whatever they like, but until they offer constructive ways in order for me to repay this unwanted ‘debt to society’ (rather than using the phrase as an attempted guilt trip), then I have no interest.
    I only have an education. No land, shares, companies etc.

    I for one hope that Tutu’s call for all white’s to make a once off donation comes about. Then there will be a line in the sand, and this name calling nonsense can finally stop.

    Regarding your last point, the lack of accountability in government (who can only figure out 1 year later that the reason for textbook shortages were caused by financial constraints), sadly means that all our peeps will fall on deaf ears.

  34. Amaya Amaya 17 November 2012

    ” Even if every S African were well educated, immigration would satisfy all unskilled and 3D work needs. If it weren’t so, every Scandinavian would now be cleaning their own house.”

    Not sure if this is a joke, but every Scandinavian IS cleaning their own house (except perhaps for a 2% super-rich & lazy population). It is the norm here. 0_o I’ve known one family in my life who had household help visit them. If you’d live here, you’d certainly pump your own gas and shine your own shoes as well, you might hire a nanny occasionally but certainly not daily, etc.

  35. Bella Bella 18 November 2012

    Kudos for a thought provoking article.
    I think it would make the most sense if everyone had access to equally high standards of education. In an ideal world, this would lead to a better economy for the country as a whole, and would also lighten the burden the middle class has to bear; because it is a burden for only a small percentage of the country to carry the burden of the majority who cannot afford to pay the taxes required to run the country (although how much is put into minister’s pockets and how much into the running of the country is debatable). Personally, I would rather clean my own house and shine my own shoes than pay taxes every month.

  36. Olds Olds 19 November 2012

    @Tofolux – i used to be a believer in “put a tablet in every rural kid’s hands” but have come to the conclusion it will simply make MTV and MXit more available to youngsters who have no education ethic ad have been taught to lay every failure at another’s door whilst at the same time being shown, at the higest levels, that crime does pay, royally, and much easier to master than science or maths, especially if your parents only have bandu education and can’t help you.

    @Thandinkosi Sibisi – Catholic school does seem to pay off univerally. I’ve noticed this in Zim and other parts of Africa peers as well. Why have no-one investigated why this system works? Is it a fear of nuns or the selflessnes of same that makes it work? Does it still work or has it also been OBEd?

    Truth is, the blame game (however satisfying to some) is not going to help anyone, benefitees or not.

    I benefited from my parents’ simple ethos of work hard, study harder and don’t harm others or blame your misfortune on them. One can just as easily propose that the blame for so many uneducated people lie in the slogan: “Liberation before Education”. What idiocy! Education IS liberation. Underground schools would have had a more profound and lasting effect than any school burnings.

  37. Tofolux Tofolux 20 November 2012

    @Olds, please explain the correllation between tablets and ”parents with bantu-education, crime, education ethic, MTV and Mxit”?. Not only are those insulting comments but clearly you seem to have protection to make these wild allegations. But please have the backbone to explain these comments.

  38. Olds Olds 21 November 2012

    @Tofolux – I apologise if it came across as insulting, I was merely stating the reality I found after being a starry-eyed advocate of internet education for those with no access myself. As to the bantu education part – again from experience. A few of my friends who were subjected to this in the old SA have lamented the fact that they stand by powerlessly watching their children fail at Math & Science because they simply do not have the knowledge to assist their kids. Not their fault but the fault of past & present regimes in firstly not valuing individuals enough and secondly putting their pockets and/or fears, not their voters first.

    I still try at every opportunty to show the kids I come in contact with how to turn even their smartphones into educational aids, with some success. But it is a drop into the ocean, hence the despair.

  39. Olds Olds 21 November 2012

    @Tofolux cont’d – protection? I do not have much left after the last visit from criminicals/criminal lack of policing so I daresay not very protected, no, just gatvol of being ripped of by presently and previously advantaged who always seem to have a quick fix solution for the disadvantaged that invariably mean we end up poorer and less educated.

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