Unemployment and education

It’s clear to me that the biggest and longest lasting impact of Apartheid will be the disastrous effect it’s had and is continuing to have on education.

We won’t fix employment or economic growth or prosperity (and in a roundabout way many other social ills) unless we have a truly fixed education system.

But, passing students who shouldn’t doesn’t help anyone. Talk about kicking the problem down the road a few months. There you go, you now have an education* (*as in not an education but something you can claim as an education.) If our teachers don’t even understand this, we’re doomed.

The solution to poor pass rates is not to make the exams easier.

Published by David Kirk

The opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and other commenters and are not necessarily those of his employer or any other organisation. David Kirk runs Milliman’s actuarial consulting practice in Africa. He is an actuary and is the creator of New Business Margin on Revenue. He specialises in risk and capital management, regulatory change and insurance strategy . He also has extensive experience in embedded value reporting, insurance-related IFRS and share option valuation.

Join the conversation


  1. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no apartheid supporter, but I’d be interested to hear your thinking behind linking the current state of the education system and the apartheid govt / policies.

    And, further to that, how long will it take or what will it take to shake off that legacy?

    Surely at some point the current administration should take some of the responsibility for the current state of the system?

    1. I think the current administration should take 100% responsibility for fixing the problem, immediately. It’s not helpful now to blame how we got to where we are (no matter how good it may feel). I think the legacy of apartheid education policies will be felt for many decades, but knowing how we go to where we are doesn’t help getting us to a better future unless we take action.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.