Black Parents Put Their Cars Ahead Of The Quality Of Their Children’s Education

PICTURE: The Atlantic

This is a makeshift setup which was supposed to only be there for eighteen months but became more than two years depending on who is counting, MZWANDILE NONKULA

Every morning at seven o’clock in a school week, I took my 3-year-old daughter to the Daycare center where I was then picking her up at 17:00 in the evenings. I watched as other parents taking their children to the school nearby where I lived in Kibler Park. It is a high school in a plot of about 4000 square meters or slightly more. Too small, yes, shockingly.

This is a makeshift setup which was supposed to only be there for eighteen months but became more than two years depending on who is counting. Small prefabs for Grade 10 to Grade 12. My heart broke as I watched the parents dropping their children there in the latest BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, the top of the range VW Golfs, the SUV and all those nice cars usually driven by middle-class black people.

2015 had not been a great year for me but I was very optimistic to close it on a high. My wife and I had been running around since 2014 looking for a school for our daughter to start Grade RR in 2017. The quality of the education for our daughter was and still is top of the list as we went up and down searching for the schools for her. We had a number of options to go for and none of them were cheap.

In both our minds we wanted our child to get the best education available in South Africa considering how things are spiraling down in quality. What always stuck in my mind was my mother’s words when she took me to Port Shepstone High School in the early 90s, she said that she would rather sleep on an empty stomach than denying me the good quality education. My mother was a single parent and a public school teacher. We got by with the less we had, but education was never compromised.

I could not bare the thought of sending my child to a makeshift setup school where there are no recreational facilities like; sports, music, drama, and library. The installment of a BMW, Merc and all these fancy cars is not less than R6,000 a month without even factoring in the insurance premiums?

Surely if those parents were affording those kinds of expensive cars, they were supposed to afford good quality education for their children but they chose to send them in really miserable schools. In South Africa today the quality of education outweighs the stand to only say that you have an education. Good quality education opens better doors than just mere education which limits visions.

In a company, I worked for while in Bangladesh they were obsessed with hiring candidates who did their diplomas and degrees at NIFT. They were not interested in others. This was because NIFT was the cream of the crop in tertiary institutions in India and boasted with excelling students. In South Africa today one should be cautious where you are doing your Law Degree, your Medicine and even your Economic Sciences.

Surely when you chose expensive cars at the expense of the school where your child is going for basic education, you are obviously laying a very steep mountain for them to climb and expecting them to emerge in flying colours. Did you yourself emerge in flying colours? Investing in the quality of your children’s education is the best gift a parent could give a child.

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