SOCY 121

Surname & Initials
Student number
1 MOSEKIEMANG .M 28031660
2 MOSEKIEMANG .M 30609275
3 SEITSANG .O 30655536
4 SELEBALO .O.S 29649625
5 SEPEKO .O 30524555
TOC o “1-3” h z u .

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INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………………PG 3
EDUCATION SYSTEM …………………………………………………PG 4
SOCIAL FUNCTIONS ……………………………………………………………PG 5-6
CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE ………………………………………………… PG 8
FIGURES ………………………………………………………….PG 10-12
SUMMARY ……………………………………………PG 12-13
CONCLUSION ……………………………………….PG13
REFERENCE LIST ……………………………………PG 14
Education is the institutionalized process of systematically teaching certain cognitive skills, and knowledge to people and transmitting those skills from one generation to the other. It exists in every culture whereby there are two kinds of education which they are Formal and Informal education systems in different societies (explanation of the words). Education also plays an important role in influencing the traits of a population, an individual can be able to improve their socio-economic status through education.

Society is a large group of people who interact with each other and share the same culture and a way of living. Society basically says that the more educated you are, the better off you are, that is pretty much true if you live by the means of society. The basic idea that education, especially a collage education, is something that people should pursue even into their adult years it is not by any means. Every society has specialized individuals who fulfill the certain positions that require extended education. It is a conscious effort on the part of society to guide and direct the physical, mental, emotional, and moral growth of the individual so that he will be able to live a life that will be socially effective and individually satisfying.

The South African educational system has been considered to be the worst over years, as a result we find huge gaps between public and private schools. These difference were there during apartheid because white people were given advanced education as compared to those who attended the Bantu education. It can be argued that the past influenced inequality, how education functions, as well as educational opportunities individuals get in South African education. The department of education is trying to work on improving South African education, it introduced OBE which works on changing curriculums to accommodate every individual who acquire educational skills.

There is a continuous change in the South African curriculums ever since 19997,when the first curriculum was introduced which is known as the South African curriculum(C2005),revised national curriculum statement(RNCS) which was introduced in 2002,national curriculum statement(NCS)which was introduced in 2007 and curriculum assessment and policy statement(CAPS)which was introduced in 2012.South African education system is trying to improve so that South African economy can grow as education is considered the key to achieving everything.

South African education system have been considered the worst over the years even , even today, education system in South Africa include primary, secondary and tertiary education. However there is a big difference between public and private schools and private (international) schools, students from private schools are way better from those in public schools. These happens because students in private schools have access to everything that makes learning effective and easier such as: libraries, laboratories, internet and more professional educators as compared to those in public schools who pay less fees and are less fortunate. Academic achievement in South Africa is measured in a way that ranks students in groups of being capable to move from one grade to the other. The figures below illustrates how academic achievements are ranked in the country:
percentage Description
80%-100% Outstanding
70%-79% Meritorious
60%-69% Elementary
50%-59% Adequate
40%-49% Achieve
30%-39% Supplementary
0%-29% Not achieved
FIGURE 1: Illustrates how academically individuals are progressed in primary and secondary schools.

percentage Description
75%-100% Distinction
50%-74% Pass
0%-49% Fail
FIGURE 2: Illustrates how academically individuals are progressed in tertiary levels.

Ranking individuals according to how they perform helps educators in coming with solutions that helps students do well academically, as a result this introduces tracking which can be described as a process of grouping individual with those who have similar traits as theirs. Sometimes tracking benefits students positively or either negatively in a way that some students when they are grouped individuals of their level take that personal and think that their being underestimated this can be described as self-fulfilling prophecy which lead to high dropouts in schools.

IN 1994 when South Africa was becoming a democratic country every parent wanted their children to acquire formal education which can be described as knowledge acquired in classroom, because during apartheid most of our parents did not receive such but they received informal education which “occurs in spontaneous unplanned way.”(Ferrante,2016:p159).During apartheid black people were offered bantu education in which it hindered most of our parents to fulfill their dreams, furthermore these made black people to encourage their children to study harder so that they can fulfill their dreams, as in South Africa education is considered as a weapon in conquering every problem in South African societies.

Education plays an important role in building and growing the society. Education plays various functions in society and some of the functions it offers are:
Transmitting skill: Often when an individual starts pre-school, they go there without having any knowledge of writing their names or any other words. “Educators must pass on a sufficient community of ideas and a sentiments without which there is no society.”(Ferrante, 2016; p160)Educators also teach individuals skills of working together and being reproductive and active.

Socialization: Education plays an important role in socialization of children because by learning specific subjects at school children gain an understanding of common values in society. “Socialization is the act of mixing socially with others, education teach people specific academic subjects, political socialization and student role.”(Kendall, 2010; p290). Socialization is very important in society since it is a process in which individuals acquire knowledge, language, social skills and values to relate to the norms.

Social placement/screening and selecting: Education is the only source or way to success in South Africa, without education you cannot go anywhere or live a better life. According to Kendall (2010:p290) schools are responsible for identifying the most qualified individuals to enter into available work positions in society. Students are often placed into programs according to their ability and academic performance, those with higher educational grades are given higher positions.

Social control: people who acquire education are offered with knowledge of values such as discipline, respect, obedience, punctuality and perseverance. “Schools teach conformity by encouraging young people to be good students, conscientious future workers and law abiding citizens.”(Kendall, 2010:p290).Education helps in helping people to have good leadership and communication skills.

Change and innovation: Society needs to change and grow as a result people in different societies needs to acquire certain educational skills to be able to bring changes and innovations in their societies. “College and universities needs to conduct a research and publish new knowledge that benefits the overall society.”(Kendall, 2010; p290) .The most important goal in change and innovation is to reduce social problems, therefore educational attainment is important in helping to bring changes.

The way in which sociologist’s studies education is based on the theoretical perspective they choose to focus on. Functionalist for example claims that schools should help in bringing good citizenship and they also claim that problems in an education are a result of an unorganized society as well as structure of schools. Conflict theorist tend to say that challenges in education are brought about by gender, race, and class inequalities. Meanwhile the interactionists focuses mainly in communication in schools. Education plays an integral role in individuals’ lives as well as the society as a whole, and sociologists view that role from many diverse points of view. Functionalists believe that education equips people to perform different functional roles in the society.

Conflict theorists view education as a means of widening the gap in social inequality. Feminist’s theorists point to the evidence that sexism in education continues to prevent women from achieving a full measure of social equality and the symbolic interactionists study the dynamics of the classroom, the interactions between students and teachers, and how those affect every day in life.

Functionalists believes that education is a very important social institution as it plays a role in in making society to function well and providing each individual who acquire it with fulfillment of better opportunities. Functionalism assumes that education along with other social institutions contribute to the smooth functioning of society, this theory emphasizes that there is a relationship between schools and other social institutions work together to maintain the functioning of society” (Ballantine and spade 2008)”.Functionalism also emphasizes that the achievements in schools should be based on merit and not ones position in society. According to (Ballentine and Spade 2008) this view supports capitalism, whereby those individuals with the most merit are to fill higher-level positions in society.

They also see the functioning of education to society as, helping children be productive members ,promoting socialization, preparing individuals for selection and training positions in society, promoting and change innovation and keeping and keeping children of the streets until they are old enough to be absorbed into society. Functionalist theory believes that if this social functions mentioned above are properly addressed, the educational system will remain stable. The functionalist perspectives on education in society seek for the environment where students will learn those basic courses that would make competitive in schools and society. (Kendall: 2010). “The basic functions of education is to improve lives of people.”(Thompson, 2012:377). The functionalists contends that education works on developing individuals and society.

Conflict theorists analyzing problems in education contends that schools are supposed to reduce social inequalities in societies based on gender, class, and race. Some conflict theorists analyze education mainly by focusing on the hidden curriculum which “refers to how certain cultural values and attitudes, such as conformity and obedience to authority, are transmitted through implied demands in everyday rules and routines of schools.”(Snyder; 1971). . Rather, they believe that educational system reinforces and perpetuates social inequalities arising from differences in class, gender, race, and ethnicity. They also point to tracking, a formalized sorting system that places students on “tracks” (advanced versus low achieved) that perpetuate inequalities. While educators may believe that students do well in tracked classes because they are with students of similar abilities and may have access to more individual attention, conflict theorist feels that tracking leads to self-fulfilling prophecies in which students live up(or down) to teacher and societal expectations (Education week 2004). To conflict theorist schools play the role of training working class students to accept and retain their position as lower members of societies?
Symbolic Interactionists Perspective
While functionalists deals with the relationship between education and problems in schools, and the conflict theorists deals with inequalities in education; the symbolic interactionism focuses on a point that education is part of socialization process. Symbolic interactionism sees education as one way labeling theory is seen in action. A symbolic internationalists might say that this labeling has a correlation to those who are in power and those who are being labeled. For example, low standardized test scores or poor performance in a particular class often lead to a student being labeled as a low achiever. Such labels are difficult to “shake off” which can create a self-fulfilling prophecy (Merton 1968). The labeling with which internationalists’ concern themselves extends to the very degrees that symbolize completion of education.

Schools: schools are expected to discipline children and also help parents to raise their children so that they may be successful. Schools are pressurized by societies so that they can produce children who are well-disciplined, literate and also who have knowledge. These children are expected to be productive in everything they do and also in their everyday life.

Universities: universities are expected to have students from diverse population so that they can socialize and know more about themselves as they are from different populations. The most important thing that is expected from them are to graduates with knowledge and skills that society and workplace needs. The graduates are expected to be more productive when coming to researches. Sometimes government give universities money so that they fund fully qualified masters and doctoral students to be attracted and complete their studies.

Professionals: professionals are expected to maintain professionalism at all times whereby they distribute their knowledge and skills gained at universities to others in a society. The most important role they play in society is to motivate, guide and coach others towards achieving their goals or completing their studies.

Education performs another function, as jobs are vacant; they must be occupied with the relevant people. Therefore the other function of education is to analyze and rank individuals for placement in labor force. According to Sennet and Cobb “to believe that the ability decides who is rewarded is to be deceived”. Large number of students from disadvantaged families fail to achieve satisfactory standards in schools as a result they fail to obtain the status they deserve. Inequality still remain a crisis in giving individuals opportunities because students from more privileged families are more likely to acquire educational opportunities as they are taken to private schools and their parents are able to fund for them to further their studies at universities and their parents becoming their role models in influencing them to acquire higher education degrees; hence students from less privileged families are less likely to obtain opportunities as their parents cannot fund for them to go to universities ,they also have nothing to influence them to be interested in furthering their studies as their parents as are illiterate. These two situations create an inequality line between the rich and the poor.


As we can see in this picture it simply demonstrate that the educational system in private schools compared to public schools. In private these students are more advantage than the one in rural or public schools. The education system it is improved in private schools because learners are using computers and iPads for teaching and learning and their classrooms are in a good standard.

In this picture above it shows us that in public schools the educational system is poor than that of private schools where there is a situation where kids or students are learning in poor conditions such as being congested in one classroom where there will be no air circulation, using one book for learning which include notes and classwork.

The main sociological theories demonstrate the insight into how we understand education. The functionalist views the education as an important social institute that contribute the both functions which are the Manifest and Latent functions. Functionalist see education as the preparation for the needs of society by providing student with relevant education and functions in society, Conflict theorist see school as a means for perpetuating class, gender inequalities .In the same vein, feminist theory focuses specifically on the mechanism and roots of gender inequalities in education .The symbolic interaction focuses on education as a means for labelling individual.

In conclusion the South African education system still remain the weakest education system as a result the government is still trying to strengthen it by ensuring that the is equality between public and private schools and everyone can access education .

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