The team met Corporation officials on Tuesday in a bid to understand better the role played by local self-governments in the field of improving the quality and reach of education.

South Africa may have flourished economically over the past few decades but this is not necessarily a reflection of the country’s status in terms of basic human development indicators, Member of Provincial Legislature (MPL) of the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa Linda Hlongwa has said.

She is here in the city leading a 16-member delegation from one of the nine provinces that make up South Africa.

The team met Corporation officials on Tuesday in a bid to understand better the role played by local self-governments in the field of improving the quality and reach of education.

In conversation with Mayor K. Chandrika, Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar, and standing committee chairpersons, the members of the group asked questions on various development activities that the civic body took up to ensure that education was provided to all. They shared their concern over how the ground realities in their country betrayed the fact that education was not ‘qualitative’ and did not play a “meaningful role in moulding the socio-economic processes.”

Most of their queries pertained to infrastructural challenges, funding, and nature of education. One issue that came up for discussion pertained to access, for the transport system across the region was inadequate and ‘not motorable.’ They expressed their approval for the government’s nutritional programmes, which the Mayor explained involved providing breakfast and lunch to children. They were also impressed that sports and physical activity were promoted alongside academics.

“Whether education empowers the youth, it is yes and no, as the educational system is not infused with a skills factor,” Ms. Linda said. Ms. Chandrika replied that she felt the same about the curriculum here, which she felt could be tweaked to become more job-oriented. The group will visit a few schools in the city on Wednesday, along with education standing committee chairperson K.S. Sheela. The delegation plans to meet the Chief Minister during the stay here.