While there’s a lot of information about the fourth industrial revolution and the advances in the digital world, I am sceptical about what this means for Africa and, in particular, the girl child on this continent. If the future is one of technological advancement beyond our wildest dream, then I want the African girl child to be part of that future.
A few months ago, I was discussing the state of South Africa’s education system with like-minded friends. Our discussion was about the state of literacy amongst primary school children and I found myself reflecting on the generational effect of a poor education system.
While we understand the consequences of apartheid on education I wonder if we’ve been able to think about education with the future in mind. What does the past 24 years of education tell us about the future of South Africa’s education? If we know that we are where the architects of apartheid would have us—a education system that continues to disadvantage poor and black children—then what does the future hold?
In January this year, the first class of Molo Mhlaba School for Girls made our dream a reality. Four little girls arrived with their parents entrusting their education to a new school established by an all-woman team. I have been one of the women behind the first girls’ school in a township established by young women in South Africa. We started the school in response to the deep need for quality education in Khayelitsha with the hope of spreading the model to more places across the country. As our first year comes to an end I find myself becoming more and more excited about the future of the girls who are enrolled in our school and the future of our school.