n Journal of Educational Studies - Rethinking education : South Africa's unfinished agenda and its implications for sustainable learning environments and social justice

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1680-7456



Taking a cue from the "SuLE" colloquium theme "Sustainable Learning Environments and Social Justice", this paper reflects on the South African educational gains and challenges that still undermine full attainment for targets enunciated in diverse policies. It deploys metaphors (orchestral ensembles and entropy) as tools for critical engagement to understand the genesis of some of these challenges and identify plausible interventions to address the situation.

The paper has identified the following as key challenges that should be addressed to complete the country's unfinished educational transformation agenda: (a) giving basic education a uniquely South African identity; (b) halting recursive curriculum overhauls that have not yielded quality performance and an efficacious system of education; (c) deploying a competitive teacher training and development programme to attract the best talent into the profession; (d) deploying educational norms and standards that are comparable with international benchmarking regimes; (e) accelerating the robust transformation of the higher education landscape; and (f) entrenching excellence in academia and the research ethos. The paper concludes with plausible recommendations that can deepen democracy and entrench social justice practices across the education sector.

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