My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
But the problem was wider than the status of teaching, [Nomalanga] Mkhize maintained, and came down to the general value of education. How was it, Mkhize asked, that “education came to be treated with such disrespect and disdain by the educated black professionals who administer it and why on earth was there no parents’ uprising?” One reason for the devaluing of education could be that “other forms of social advancement, particularly political association”, now offer a quicker route to improve the class prospects of black people than education does. This is a point that University of the Free State Rector Jonathan Jansen also made last year; a problem, he says, is that there is now “a visible lack of connection between education and economic well-being” in many communities. – Report by Rebecca Davis of Daily Maverick on Education in South AfricaBACK TO TOP