In “The Old Regime and the Revolution”… Alexis de Tocqueville observed that, in the decades leading up to the Revolution, France had been notably prosperous and progressive. We hear a lot about the hunger and the song of angry men, and yet the truth is that, objectively, the French at the start of the seventeen-eighties had less cause for anger than they’d had in years. Tocqueville thought it wasn’t a coincidence. “Evils which are patiently endured when they seem inevitable, become intolerable when once the idea of escape from them is suggested,” he wrote.
I am in Mthatha with a delegation led by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, visiting various rural schools to draw attention to the inequalities in our education system and highlight the need for the formulation of detailed and precise norms and standards setting out, at the very least, the minimum conditions in which children will be able to learn with dignity.
I will write a more reflective piece when I get time. Meanwhile I post a few pictures taken yesterday.
At Putuma Junior Secondary School more than hundred children cram into one classroom. The school is known for its choir which won the national championship last year. This is a picture of one children in grade 9.
At Sea View Secondary School only 13% of matrics passed last year. These unfinished classrooms are being built by the community. Students waiting for fellow class mates to complete their lesson in the classroom they share, hang out in these unfinished classrooms.