Do you want your child to grow up to make a significant difference in the world for Christ?
Who is really discipling your children?
By the time your child finishes matric (grade 12) they will have spent over 15 000 hours in school. What worldview and values will they have learnt in that time? As a vital part of the daily practice of "bring(ing) them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord", it will influence their capacity to advance God's Kingdom in the world in general and more specifically through their vocation.
State-run education has been the norm in South Africa for so many decades. South Africa's education had, on the whole, been pretty good, albeit humanistic. Our children have learned to read, write and do arithmetic. We have had Bible Education presented in the classroom setting and many schools have started with a hymn, Bible reading and prayer in Assembly. Over the last decade, however, this has all come under threat. Matric exam results are viewed with suspicion. Private Schools, (including Private Christian Schools) are springing up all over and there are now over 100 000 children being homeschooled in South Africa.
GOVERNMENT SCHOOL CHAOS
In international studies of maths, science and literacy abilities, South African children fare among the worst. In tests on grade 8 pupils, South Africa came last in the 2003 Maths and Science indexes of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science study. It also came last out of 40 countries in the 2006 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. South Africa even ranked lower than Somalia!
(See: South Africa's Educational Crisis http://www.teachsouthafrica.org/index.php/about/thecrisis/).
Paul Hoffman from the Institute of Accountability in Southern Africa writes, "A basic education must surely include imparting functional literacy in a technical sense. The last figures available are for 2007. In that year roughly 278 000 black pupils came out of school with a matric certificate, but only 42 000 of them turned out to be functionally literate when tested. Thus, out of the 1.2 million black pupils entering the public school system, only 3.5 percent emerge functionally literate. Also, the chief executive of the Institute of Race Relations reported that up to 80 percent of SA's public schools are dysfunctional despite a decade of increases in public spending on the education system." (letter to the Editor, Cape Argus, 2009).
Higher education specialists say first year university students lack essential reading, writing, maths and comprehension skills - raising questions about the implementation of curricula at schools and the value of the National Senior Certificate. They add that school leavers' lack of academic competence is also contributing to universities' high failure rates (Daily Dispatch, 2009).
SA GOVERNEMENT RECEIVES 16 MILLION FROM DUTCH TO TEACH EVOLUTION
The Africa Genome Education Institute announced in 2009 that an investment of R16 million was made by the Dutch government to educate teachers to teach evolution "correctly".
The money will be spent over 4 years and will be used to give teachers a better understanding of evolution. Evolution has been part of the grade 12 syllabus since 2008 and is part of the grade 10 syllabus since the beginning of April 2009. Ms Cheryl Douglas, one of the managers of the project and a teacher at Bishops, said certain myths about evolution and natural selection, as well as the proof of such processes will be taught.
This is despite the fact that there is no proof for evolution whatsoever.
Teachers will be taught strategies to teach evolution effectively at schools and they will be given all the material they needed.
My Yousaf Gabru, the MEC of Education in the Western Cape, supports this project wholeheartedly. He says it is part of the syllabus and must thus be accepted. (17 March 2009, Die Burger).
What will the consequences be of teaching children that they came from nothing, are going nowhere and that life is meaningless?
IMMORAL, PRO-ABORTION SEX EDUCATION
Planned Parenthood South Africa won the national tender to train teachers in sex education and provide sex education textbooks under the Life Orientation learning area.
Planned Parenthood is the world's largest and richest Non Governmental Organisation (NGO). They are the world's largest abortion provider and are driven by a eugenics programme that sought to model itself on Nazism. PP operates in South Africa under the name Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa (PPASA), but has many fronts including LoveLife and the Reproductive Rights Alliance (pro-abortion lobby group) (State Education, a sinking ship? Christian Action magazine 2002).
CHILD ABUSERS IN THE CLASSROOM
While the sex education programmes (such as LoveLife) have been known to have disastrous affects on children, they appear to be affecting teachers too. Messages of "condomise" encourage promiscuity rather than preventing it. A study revealed that teachers commit a third of all child abuse in South Africa (The Citizen, 31 January 2002). In one year, 2008, in the Western Cape, 46 cases of sexual abuse by teachers were reported by the Western Cape Education Department (Schools not acting on abuse reports - study, 15 April 2009, Cape Times).
STD INFECTED TEACHERS
In addition, a recent World Bank study claims that 40,000 of the 360,000 teachers in South Africa are HIV positive. (State Education, a sinking ship? Christian Action magazine 2002). Can they be Godly role models for our children?
A Cape Times article (6 September 2006) reported that in the Western Cape, one in 10 schoolgirls claim pregnancy as a reason for not attending school. NGOs that work with youth, say that there has been a "huge increase" in teen pregnancies in the Western Cape. In the Free State, one girl had three abortions without her parents knowing. In 2006 alone, eight girls from a high school in the Zululand area in KwaZulu Natal fell pregnant. In Gauteng, more than 2,000 schoolgirls have fallen pregnant over the past two years.
EDUCATION BY TELEVISION SOAP OPERAS
As part of current Outcomes Based Education curricula (due to be disbanded), children are required to evaluate scenarios from soapies or other TV programmes, for example about drugs, as part of Life Orientation exams. This of course assumes that children have watched these TV programmes.
A 2009 grade 11 IEB Life Sciences exam question illustrates the pro-abortion indoctrination happening in schools: Students are required to give the advantages and disadvantages of the Abortion Amendment Bill and the Traditional Health Practitioners Bill (2007) and to state whether they agree or disagree with Doctors for Life's objections to the two bills. However, there are NO advantages to either of the Bills and therefore pro-life students would forfeit 3 marks.
TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION TO BE TAUGHT TO 30 000 CHILDREN
An organization based on the teachings of Hindu Guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Centre for Consciousness-based Education, received funding in 2009 from a Beatles Reunion concert to teach Transcendental Meditation (TM) to 30 000 school children across the country. TM has already been introduced to many schools in KwaZulu Natal, particularly in Hindu-dominated areas but also to several schools in Alexandra, a township just outside Johannesburg (http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/education/beatles_reunion_benefits_sa.html).
VIOLENCE IN THE SCHOOLS
South Africa's schools are some of the most dangerous in the world, according to statistics published by the South African Institute of Race Relations in 2008. Only 23% of South African pupils said they felt safe at school. On average South Africa's schools ranked more than 20 percentage points below the world-wide country average of 47% of pupils declaring that they felt a high degree of safety in the classroom.
The Institute's findings follow a host of recent media reports of shootings, stabbings, rapes, and robberies at schools. (http://www.sairr.org.za/press-office/archive/south-african-schools-most-dangerous-in-the-world-2013-only-23-of-pupils-safe.html).
THEFT AND VANDALISM OF SCHOOL PROPERTY
Schools routinely have to fork out money to pay for repairs to damaged property and losses from theft. In 2009, 21 schools were reported to have been vandalized and robbed in the Western Cape (http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/2010/10011811151002.htm).
Many teachers have reported the growing problems of disruptive, disrespectful, and undisciplined learners. At some schools, teachers have been physically abused and threatened with a knife.
WIDE GATES TO HELL
Dr Martin Luther's warning given almost 500 years ago has proved true: "I am much afraid that schools will prove to be wide gates to hell unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them on the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not constantly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt."
Maybe the Lord is allowing this shaking so that Christians will wake up and realise their God-given responsibility to ensure their children are educated according to a Biblical Worldview. Parents can delegate the task, but not the responsibility of educating their children.
Internationally respected Focus on the Family Founder, Dr. James Dobson has called for American parents to take their children out of public schools, and I think we should do the same.
Adapted and updated by Taryn Hodgson from articles by Miriam Cain, Rob McCafferty, Alison Shortridge and Lenora Hammond. Published in its original form in Make a Difference: A Christian Handbook for Southern Africa and Reforming Our Families.
To be continued - Part 2: THE BIBLICAL SOLUTION TO THE EDUCATION CRISIS.
Why Homeschooling? Frequently Asked Questions on Homeschooling - Alison Shortridge
The Value of a Christian Education - Dr Peter Hammond
Responsible Education - Lenora Hammond
Homeschooling - Is now the time? - Lenora Hammond
Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
7735 Cape Town
Tel: 021-689 4481
Related Article on this blog:
Get you kids out of State Schools, Come Hell or High Water!
You've Decided to Homeschool, Now What?
Publisher: Master Books
Publication date: August 2007
A practical guide to home schooling for the newcomer as well as the veteran. Very simple step by step directions to successfully home school your child.
Available at Amazon.com or Kalahari.net (South Africa)