THE DREAM - IPHUPHO

THE DREAM - IPHUPHO
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Parents’ silence on the Limpopo Textbooks shenanigan

By: Lindokuhle Mnisi
@LindokuhleMnisi

What are the parents of the Limpopo children saying about the textbooks fiasco? My perception is that "parents in the rural areas don’t even understand the real significance of education. They don’t know the values of education. They just think a child has to go to school to meet and play with children of their age." I might be wrong. But I suggest that parents have to be taken for a campaign and lessons to inform them about the relevance of education (especially those parents in the rural areas)

For those that may think that the statement above is derogatory as one of my facebook friends says, don’t be stereotypic about this, open up your mind and think in a wider view then you will get my point. On a comment on my facebook status, Alpheus Duda Sontaga says “I never thought I would hear u utter such derogatory words. Before I comment on the issue of "what Limpopo parents are saying about the textbook saga" please assist me to see in the same eye as you. If I get you well, you are denoting that Limpopo in itself is a rural province - the whole of it, again parents in the Limpopo Province are illiterate and don’t know what education is and its values? Where do you get such a perception?” he wrote, ending his comment with #angry.

Agree with me that this Textbook crisis stroke mainly the schools in the rural areas of Limpopo. And people who are affected mostly are in the rural areas. Limpopo is not a rural village altogether but now we are talking about this issue focusing on the rural victims. The point I am making is that the parents of the affected children are so quiet about the issue, it is only a national public outcry and those parents are benefiting from that outcry.

How many campaigns have you seen, in the villages that aim at informing parents about the significance of education? This question is relevant for all provinces. Education in the rural areas is not the same as the one in the township or urban areas. The levels of understanding and the perceptions about education differ from parents from this camp to the other. Resources can be brought to the discussion to say, the lack of resources in the rural areas result to parents not knowing what education entails. Most parents in the rural areas are not educated and therefore they can't fully encourage their children about education, because they do not understand its significance.

My view still stands to say “people who are supposed to express grievances, mostly, about the Textbook fiasco are the parents, but they are not.” That is why I suggest that parents have to be taken for a campaign and lessons to inform them about the relevance of education (especially those parents in the rural areas). Parents have to be taught and trained about how to encourage children about education. Even if the parents are not educated themselves, they need to know the values of education. They need to stop thinking that education or going to school is moral thing just to keep children off the streets. Schools are not places for keeping children entertained every day. Schools are not for eradication of boredom. But education has more to that.

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