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How to Fix South Africa's Schools
How to Fix South Africa's Schools

How to Fix South Africa's Schools

Lessons from Schools that Work


200 Pages, 6.14 x 9.21

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $17.95 (CA $24.00) (US $17.95)

Publication Date: February 2014

ISBN 9781920434625

Rights: WOR

Bookstorm (Feb 2014)


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South Africa has an education crisis, despite the fact that the government spends the biggest slice of its budget on education, more than any other African country. And yet the crisis persists. Jansen and Blank looked at South African schools that work, in spite of adverse conditions – schools in poor communities, schools with overcrowded classrooms, schools in both rural and urban environments – and have drawn out the practical strategies that make them successful. 19 short films (included on DVD or available for streaming or download in digital editions) let you visit these schools and understand in the words of their principals, teachers and learners what makes them succeed. Then take look at the 10 key strategies identified and see how to implement them in other schools to effect transformation. As we have come to expect from Jansen, there are no complicated theories, not difficult to implement solutions – just lots of common sense!

Author Biography

Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch, after serving for many years as the Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State, South Africa. Jansen has a formidable reputation for transformation and a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. He holds an impressive collection of degrees and awards including the Education Africa Lifetime Achievement Award. Jansen is also the author or co-author of Song for Sarah, Letters to My Children, Great South African Teachers, We Need to Talk, We Need to Act and How to Fix South Africa's Schools. Jansen has lived all over South Africa and in the United States. He is married with two children.

Molly Blank is a documentary filmmaker who began working in South Africa as the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship for journalism in 2005. Her previous films include Testing Hope: Grade 12 in the New South Africa, about young people approaching their matric exams and Where Do I Stand? about youth and the xenophobic attacks in South Africa in 2008. She worked on the Peabody award-winning film Bringing Down a Dictator about the defeat of Slobodan Milosevic.