Author Archive

Partnerships point the way to better public education

Despite their dubious role in the financial crisis of 2008, some US banks were deemed by policy-makers to be ‘too big to fail’ because their failure would have led to a global economic meltdown. Rightly or wrongly, that conclusion triggered an unprecedented international effort to rehabilitate them and restore global financial prosperity. As South Africa […]

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Posted on 1 Apr 2018 under Alerts, Opportunity 8: Implementation Experience, Strategy 2017.

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We do have solutions for SA’s reading crisis

The national senior certificate results are an important annual benchmark of the state of education. In 2017, they showed some improvement, with a pass rate of 75%. But they have two major limitations. First, they reflect only the achievement of that half of school-leavers who actually wrote the grade 12 exams. The other half had […]

Posted on 16 Mar 2018 under Opportunity 6: Reflection and Analysis, Strategy 2017.

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Homeopathic doses of early learning just won’t work

Once the dust settles, it will dawn on us that much of the extra R57 billion allocated to higher education will be wasted as half the beneficiaries drop out. Why? Because their educational foundations are too shaky to cope with the demands of university or college. Over the next three years, more than a trillion […]

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Posted on 26 Feb 2018 under Opportunity 4: Reflection and Analysis, Strategy 2017.

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The public school partnership pilot – is it worth it? Let parents decide

Here is a frightening prediction: over the next decade, the number of children in private schools will increase from one-sixteenth to one sixth of all learners in South Africa. That proportion will then level off because other parents who prefer private education won’t be able to pay for it. As the State will not have […]

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Posted on 3 Nov 2017 under Opportunity 8: Reflection and Analysis, Strategy 2017.

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A compelling business proposition: Create value at no extra cost

Just over a decade ago, a senior official at national Treasury told me that Government was “awash with money”. Not anymore. Cost-cutting is the order of the day. Things are only going to get tighter after the medium-term budget policy statement on 25th October. We will all feel sick to the pit of our stomachs […]

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Posted on 11 Oct 2017 under Opportunity 3: Reflection and Analysis, Strategy 2017.

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Public-school partnerships: Healthy scepticism, yes. Paralysing caution, no.

Is every non-State institution a private company driven by profit and neoliberal tendencies? This is the question that critics of public school partnerships need to answer. Almost all criticism of the Collaboration Schools model being tested in South Africa fails to make the distinction between civil society organisations and for-profit companies in public education. These […]

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Posted on 19 May 2017 under Creative Learners, DGMT Points of Interest, Opportunity 8: Reflection and Analysis.

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How to make sense of mother-tongue instruction debates

Many parents find the debates about mother-tongue instruction very confusing.  All they want to know is “what is best for my child”? Is it better to introduce English sooner or later?  Will my child get mixed up if she learns more than one language at the same time?  Is it best to send her to […]

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Posted on 2 May 2017 under Creative Learners, DGMT Points of Interest, Opportunity 6: Reflection and Analysis, Strategy 2017.

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Collaboration Schools – concentrating energy and expertise in the poorest public schools

By David Harrison This article was first published in the Daily Maverick on 20 October 2016.  Equal Education has joined trade unions in calling for the draft Western Cape Provincial School Amendment Act to be abandoned because, among other things, it makes provision for a new category of public schools. These schools, called Collaboration Schools, […]

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Posted on 21 Oct 2016 under Creative Learners, DGMT Points of Interest, Opportunity 8: Reflection and Analysis.

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Unlocking the economic value of young children

First published on Business Day Live, 27 May 2016 Most business people are hard-nosed and soft-hearted. This has been my experience in trying to galvanise corporate support for social development over the past 25 years. These are exactly the attributes needed to find economically sound solutions to the country’s social problems. However, corporate professionals often act […]

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Posted on 27 May 2016 under DGMT Points of Interest, Opportunity 4: Reflection and Analysis, Resourceful Young Children.

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The “ordinary magic” that can change a child’s future

This article was first published in the Star on 9 May 2016 Since 27 April 2015, ‘Mandela’s children’ have been turning twenty-one. They are the first of the ‘born-free generation’ to become adults. Are they better off than young adults were in the early nineties? It’s a difficult question to ask at the best of […]

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Posted on 11 May 2016 under Creative Learners, DGMT Points of Interest, Opportunity 4: Reflection and Analysis, Opportunity 5: Reflection and Analysis, Opportunity 6: Reflection and Analysis, Opportunity 7: Reflection and Analysis, Resourceful Young Children.

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