As specified by the Bill of Rights of Africa’s constitution, the state has an obligation to make education available, accessible, and obtainable.
South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) identifies three types of education: General Education and Training, Further Education and Training, and Higher Education and Training.
The South African Schools Act of 1996 states that education for all South Africans from the age of seven to age fifteen is mandatory.
Compared with many other countries, education gets a large amount of expenditures. Usually around 20% of the total state expenditure goes to education. Because of the huge accumulation left by the 40 years of apartheid education, more money is always needed to address the issues. White South African children received a quality education practically for free, while the blacks had only a “Bantu education”.
While 65% of whites over 20 years old and 40% of Indians have a high school degree, only 14% among blacks and 17% among the coloured population have a high school qualification.
The government is now targeting education for the poor with two significant programs. One is the fee-free schools that receive all their required funding from the state; therefore, they did not have to charge school fees. The other is the National Schools Nutrition Programme, which feeds about 7 million children in school everyday. In 2009, the program was extended to 1500 secondary schools.
When more people become educated, they will become more aware of HIV/AIDS, and eventually be able to prevent or avoid it. As the book Half The Sky states, a crucial solution to women being put in the brothels, rape, and prostitution, is education.
Increasing and improving the education system will have a tremendous, positive effect on the country and will lead to a greater understanding and awareness of HIV/AIDS.