Education in South Africa
The school inspector is assigned to the grade 4 class in one of the local schools. He is introduced to the class by the teacher.
She says to the class: “Let’s show the inspector just how clever you are by allowing him to ask you a question.” The inspector reasons that normally class starts with religious instruction, so he will ask a biblical question.
He asks: “Class, who broke down the walls of Jericho?”
For a full minute there is absolute silence. The children all just stare at him blankly. Eventually Sipho raises his hand. The Inspector excitedly points to him.
Sipho stands up and replies: “Sir, I do not know who broke down the walls of Jericho, but I can assure you it wasn’t me.”
Of course the inspector is shocked by the answer and looks at the teacher for an explanation.
Realizing that he is perturbed, the teacher says: Well, I’ve known Sipho since the beginning of the year, and I believe that if he says that he didn’t do it, then he didn’t do it.”
The inspector is even more shocked at this and storms down to the principal’s office and tells him what happened, to which the principal replies: “I don’t know the boy, but I socialize every now and then with his teacher, and I believe her. If she feels that the boy is innocent, then he must be innocent.”
The inspector can’t believe what he is hearing. He grabs the phone on the principal’s desk and in a rage dials the Minister of Education’s telephone number and rattles the entire occurrence to Her and asks her what she thinks of the education standard in SA.
The Minister sighs heavily and replies: “I don’t know the boy, the teacher, nor the principal, but just get three quotes and have the wall fixed!!”