S.Africa's poor education would make Mandela cry: Tutu
7/18/2012 7:40:09 PM -
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South African Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Wednesday said if Nelson Mandela knew how poorly the country's schools are performing, he would be reduced to tears.
"If he knew what was happening he would be crying... it's totally unacceptable," Tutu told a leadership summit in the central Free State province, held as Mandela turned 94 on Wednesday.
Tutu decried the failure by education officials to deliver textbooks to some rural schools, noting that some children were still learning under trees because of a lack of classrooms, 18 years after Mandela became South Africa's first black president.
Education officials were embroiled in a scandal over the lack of textbooks in the northern Limpopo province, which has seen the department hauled to court by activists.
This week a report by a special government task team revealed that 22 percent of schools in the province were still without books, seven months into the academic year.
Education is South Africa's single biggest budget item, but schools are hobbled by poor management and low standards.