n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die uitwerking van armoede, sosiale verval en ekonomiese agteruitgang op die nuwe onderwysbedeling in Suid-Afrika

Volume 44, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


Currently the challenging economic climate in South Africa contributes to the challenges encountered in education. Economic challenges are marked by social inequalities, high levels of poverty, unemployment and slow economic growth.
Education in poverty-stricken communities in South Africa is hampered by a lack of order in community structures, vandalism, negative peer group influences, an environment without intellectual stimulation, a poor disposition to the school and learning and conflict between the values of the school and the values of the home. The outcome among the country's learners is a negative academic self-concept, low levels of motivation and cumulative academic disadvantage. These factors contribute to failure at school and also early dropout. Poor and uncertain prospects for employment contribute once more to a continuing cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
Thus, the provision of education and the success of a new, effective education policy face serious obstacles. Important social issues which impact negatively on education provision are the culture of poverty, inequality, unplanned urbanisation with consequent high density housing in cities and the depopulation of rural areas, the serious decline in values and norms and the resulting moral licentiousness. In addition, the AIDS pandemic as well as the challenges of the increasingly global environment call for the urgent attention of the government and specifically the education authorities.
This article is aimed at a discussion of the progress which educational institutions have made during the past eight years in an endeavour to enhance the quality of life of South Africans and to improve levels of education.

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