WATCH: Life in South Africa after ‘The President’s Keepers’ — Matthew Lester

JOHANNESBURG — Professor Matthew Lester, from the Rhodes Business School in Grahamstown, in this video, provides a lecture on the role of education in a stressed South Africa. He also looks at the at the KUSASA early childhood development program in Franschhoek, Western Cape. Education is critical to South Africa’s future, but it’s been mismanaged and poorly implemented. Can this trend change? – Gareth van Zyl

By Matthew Lester*

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

We have all read and quoted Nelson Mandela many times. But does Mandela’s wisdom prevail when it comes to education? Or is education a blunt instrument to address poverty and inequality?

Following Mandela’s lead ‘Basic education’ is now the biggest item in South Africa’s national budget. And that is before adding in the higher education budget.

After nearly 20 years of trying the education route, South Africa’s economic growth rate is now below the population growth rate. And that is bad news in anyone’s language.

Despite the recommendations of many, President Zuma now seems adamant that a free fee policy for Higher Education will hit the spot.

Read also: State threatens parents’ rights with radical education bill — Philip Rosenthal

There have been countless reports on the problems of education in South Africa. But there is still no improvement. What is missing?

In this lecture Prof Matthew Lester examines the current state of South Africa’s economy and economic theory on education.

“The problem is not the money,” says Lester.” It’s all about happiness and how the happiness leads to success, or so Eton tells us.”

“So next time you are in Franschhoek, Western Cape, visit the KUSASA early childhood development project and see what can be achieved with a little bit of TLC!”

  • Matthew Lester is an associate professor at the Rhodes Business School and a member of the Davis Tax Committee.