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Aja Bogdanoff

Online Community Manager, TED

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For non-US TEDizens: Can you tell us about your country's education system?

This week's special on American TV, "TED Talks Education," focuses on problems in US schools.

So here's the place for non-Americans to share: What's an issue in your country's education system that you'd like to see a TED Talk about? Who would you ask to speak? Do you have any success stories to share?

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    May 12 2013: South Africa
    I believe our schooling system has become rather dysfunctional and political. We are currently awaiting the outcome of a Constitutional Court ruling to decide whether what is termed a "Dysfunctional Provincial Education department" can interfere with the workings of a schools governing body, that is a school that is functioning properly. There is more interest in the annual political pass rate and massaging results to show an improvement, with some pass rates as low as 30%. Private schooling has become big business as parents try and give their children the competitive edge but slipping standards are also starting to impact tertiary education institutions. Other factors are the dismal maths literacy rate and the disappearance of male teachers. I am a big fan of George Orwell and he made a comment that he doubted that proper schooling/teaching could take place without corporal punishment. Also one needs to structure your education around the student force you have, not the one you wish you had. It should integrate with the country's longer term economic plans. You can't expect to run with other BRICS countries if you population struggles with basic arithmetics

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