The devasting effects of education inequality due to systemic institutionalized racism, such as the Apartheid system in South Africa and Jim Crow segregation in America has created a crisis for black children across the world.
The Daily Maverick recently published an opinion-editorial about the currently grim academic situation in South Africa. Oresti Patricios, a global education equality advocate and founder of the Ornico Group wrote the Daily Maverick’s editorial, which was titled, “Education: From Crisis to Opportunity.”
This op-ed dug deeply into analyzing the present situation in South Africa, which is a nation struggling to deliver on the promise of “free quality education” that was promised by the Mandela Administration after the eradication of Apartheid.
“The South African education system was cruelly hamstrung by apartheid, which created privilege for whites and engineered a schooling system that crudely fashioned eager black minds for mass labour, or to play a support role to white ownership before 1994,” Patricious wrote.
The underlying causes of the global education divide, which negatively affects black children in nations all across the world is weak leadership at the state and federal level.
” Root causes [that have been identified by research] are weak institutional functionality (state capacity), undue union influence, weak teacher content knowledge and pedagogy, and wasted learning time. As a result, most pupils do not learn to read for meaning by the end of Grade 4. This is a benchmark that should be reached by the end of Grade 3,” Patricious also wrote.
The causes of this racially-based divide in the education system of South Africa are very similar to the institutionalized inequalities that are currently present in the United States of America. Governments at the state level have been using clandestine tactics that implement the denial of federal funding set aside for public school systems.
In the U.S. state of Kansas, a so-called “block grant funding” system for public school districts was put into place in 2015. However, opponents of this Kansas public education funding policy have stated that the block grant funding system puts urban school districts in jeopardy and gives suburban school districts an unfair advantage in financial descretion.
Urban school districts in America are usually predominantly black and suburban school districts are almost always predominantly white.
The block grant funding system in Kansas has actually been deemed unconstitutional. The Kansas Supreme Court made a ruling against the elitist policy and forced state legislators to re-work the plan earlier this summer. A newly proposed emergency funding system went into affect at the begining of this month, but opponents believe the “quick fix” will be ineffective in the long run.
Undoing the societal racial divide in education created by decades of formerly legal discrimination practices is a very tall task. Further research must be undertaken to continue the analysis of this ongoing crisis. Reversing the effects of the educational divide must be done independently and proactively.