Make your mark

The last and only time I have ever voted from my heart was ironically the first time I could legally vote – in 1992 for the referendum on apartheid. I voted to end something that I believed was just plain wrong and needed to be stopped.  Since then, however, I have voted purely with my mind and my choice has been based on the simple fact that I believe that any healthy democracy needs a strong opposition to be able to function and thrive.  In other words, I have never voted for a political party that represented an ideal that I believed in or for a leader I trusted.  Instead I have voted to try and ensure that South Africa will never again have a single party dictating life to its citizens.

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All rainbows fade

Can someone explain to me what national pride actually is? What is patriotism? What makes Americans gather in their millions on the 4th of July and parade in pride down the nations streets in spite of their political bickering and tension of the moment? What makes them (mostly) proud to be American? Or any other countries citizens for that matter? What makes Hollywood movies always have the hero belt out those patriotic last stand speeches? I think I may have known once… at some distant point in our rainbow nations past but I seem to have forgotten.  Anyone care to elaborate?

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Not a single child got more than 80% for maths.

Dunce cap in the Victorian schoolroom at the M...

What? Come again? Only 970 out of 194165 grade 9 pupils in the Limpopo (a province in South Africa) public schools system got more than 50% for maths this year. 0 (yes, ZERO) got more than 80%! That’s zero pupils (or ‘learners’ as we are meant to call them – arggh) got an A average for maths in the year before they have to select the subjects they will take through to the end of their high school lives and the ones that dictate what they will be able to study in college or university and possibly what they do with their lives.

What the hell is going on? Granted, I am jumping on a statistical headline grabber in the local paper but huh?  This is only a small (population wise) province but being small it should have been one of the easiest to improve and achieve decent results. Now statistics are easily manipulated to mean anything but if this is any indication of the country averages (don’t suppose those are available to the general public – just wait till the proposed secrecy act becomes a reality), how the hell is South Africa meant to drag itself up out of poverty and inequality if this is the latest Education Department report card – a measure of how well the people most responsible for the future of our people are doing?

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