Tuesday, 10 July 2007

The widening gap

One story today about the widening gap between the brighest and the dimmest students, and/or the richest and the poorest schools (here), should come as a surprise to no one.
There would seem to be little doubt that the general gist of this is true.There is a certain sadness about the fact that a country that has had, in the recent past, a well-functioning public-sector school system is allowing it to go to rack and ruin.
The article cited here states that state governments whilst needing to be committed to the state systems nevertheless sometimes prefer the private system.There are many and complex reasons for this.
I well remember (for example) M, the founder of a relatively new SA school (now schools), saying of the need for Governments to continue funding private schools..They could not afford to stop funding them. This would seem to be true. And as more and more parents have fled the state system, the need to continue funding private schools has become even greater.
I have no particular problem with this. Other than the rather serious one that, no matter what, some parents will never be able to afford to pay for their children's education , no matter how cheap.
And as long as there continues to be a skimming off of high quality teachers to the private system, either by higher pay or just be better conditions; the state system will continue to be run down and down.
By way of a side issue (but relating to the skimming) , long term teaching colleague-D- who recently retired from over 30 years in the state system to a smaller job in a Lutheran School.
He sighed as we were talking, because his commitment to the State system is profound, you know it is just nice to have a level of enthusiasm and respect from the students, with politeness.
There was a sense in which he felt he shouldn't be saying that. But we both knew it was true.
Bit sad really

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