English Argumentative Essay 30 January 2018 Brett du PlessisThe South African education system has indeed failed. It has failed miserably. The fact that there is an entire generation which is not educated or working says enough. The shortcomings of the South African education system are entirely to blame. South Africa has one of the highest budget spendings on education. 20% of the GDP is spent solely on education. The South African government spends the equivalent of $1225 per child on primary education and still achieve less than Kenya, who spend $258, and Zimbabwe, who spend $100.78% of Grade 4 learners read and this is a huge issue. Out of 50 countries, South Africa came last. This is a very alarming stat. There is clearly an issue that is deeply rooted in South Africa. The number of students from Grade 10 that passed the matric final exams was 37.3%. This means that 62.7% of students from grade 10 dropped out before the matric final exams. This works out to be around 500 000 students. The problem lies within the primary education that the students are receiving. The teachers that are trusted to ensure that the children understand and grasp the basics of education, cannot even get that done. How is a child meant to progress in their education and further their knowledge if their teachers cannot even get through the basics with them? A large number of teachers are not even really qualified. The facts still stand and are proven correct. If 78% of grade 4 learners cannot read, then how can they do anything else. They cannot and this is the biggest issue. Without the proper foundations, nothing can be achieved. The resources are being wasted by the government as Kenya and Zimbabwe can achieve a lot more, as previously mentioned, with considerably low amounts of money when compared to South Africa. There needs to be more emphasis placed on ensuring that all the basics are covered before students’ progress on otherwise it proves to be pointless as these students will drop out long before they can even think about reaching matric. Nelson Mandela outlined his goals in education for South Africa just over 20 years ago in his speech at the Education Africa, Presidential and Premier Education awards. He wanted education to become available for everyone and for the overall quality of education to improve drastically across the country. He said 20 years ago that we “lack the teaching media and equipment needed for effective learning and teaching”. I can comfortably say that the situation has not changed at all. I cannot see Nelson Mandela’s goals being achieved anytime in the near future. We, as a country, have failed Nelson Mandela. In 2016, the national unemployment rate reached 26.6%. That is an extremely high and alarming figure. The problem is that most of these people have little or no education at all which is why they cannot get any jobs. This is due to the inability of the South African government and education department. Other countries unemployment rates are not nearly as high. This leads to huge gaps in the country and a much weaker economy. In conclusion, the South African government have failed to reach the goals that Nelson Mandela set out. Resources need to be managed a lot better and more time and care needs to be put into nurturing and teaching the students from a young age. If the resources and money are managed better then we should have no problems getting our education system off the ground and becoming a place of learning. It will require teachers, students and government to work together. It will require effort.