An open opportunity society: It starts with education

No child’s prospects should be determined by the conditions under which they were born.

Every child, especially the child born into poverty, deserves to be released from the shackles of poverty and be free to better their lives.

The key to this is better education.BEE DA

The society we want to build must ensure that the playing field is equal.

While some are born into a world of wealth that enables them an easy passage to access opportunities, the majority of South Africans are born into circumstances that make it difficult to access opportunities, especially economic and education opportunities.

A child born into poverty should not live and die as an adult facing the same conditions under which they were born. The Democratic Alliance (DA) and I want to build a society that ensures that children born into poverty receive the same quality of and access to education as those born into a wealthy family, from primary school to the tertiary level.

I truly believe that we can make a quantum leap in fixing society and building an open opportunity society if we pay more attention to the deficiencies in the education system.

The society I envisage will ensure that the child born and raised in Alexandra will have access to the same quality of education as the child in Sandton.

No child’s prospects should be determined by the conditions under which they were born.

Every child, especially the child born into poverty, deserves to be released from the shackles of poverty and be free to better their lives.

I, like many of my peers, was not born into a wealthy family. My parents had working class jobs, but it was through their sacrifice and an investment in my education that I was able to access opportunities and subsequently ensure that my children are able access quality education and opportunities.

My story is not unique, even today there are many who can tell of this story. But why in a democratic South Africa should there be a struggle for quality education?

da in our future work

Education has the potential to break the perpetual cycle of poverty.

While measures such as B-BBEE are important, there are no lasting structures that are built without a solid foundation – in this instance that foundation is education.

This sentiment is conveyed through the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who said, “Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies.”

If we are to build this quality education system, we need to start with making sure that the conditions under which children go to school are conducive to learning. It is a national shame that in 2015, there are children who are still being taught under trees. We need to fix this.

Second, the teachers equipped with the necessary resources, and those who stand in front of our children to impart knowledge have the necessary qualifications and skill set.

Teachers must be in the classroom, not attending union meetings. While unions are important, the teaching of students should always take precedence over union matters.

This is not a silver bullet approach to building an open opportunity society, but it is the first step.

Regards

Mmusi

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