Critical Issues in South African Education: Illumination from international comparative perspectives from the BRICS countries

Volume editor
Charl C. Wolhuter




The main thesis of this book is that, given that South African education faces major challenges, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) constellation of states offers — thus far overlooked — a valuable tertium comparationis, a source of international comparative perspectives, to inform the domestic scholarly discourse on education. This book first investigates the national contexts and development of education in the BRICS countries, arguing that this grouping represents a valuable but yet overlooked field for illuminating South African education issues with international perspectives. The book consists of chapters arguing for and illustrating this thesis from a variety of angles. Common to all chapters is that authors used the comparative method in education, that is comparing the national education system, in their education societal context interrelationships, of the BRICS countries.  The chapters focus on a number of critical issues in South African education, including the language of learning and teaching issue, the alignment of the world of education with the world of work, early childhood education, and the development of world-class universities. Regarding the last, for example, China has been the terrain of the most intensive national projects of establishing world-class universities, with Project 985, Project 211, and the “Double First Class University” project.  The chapters demonstrate what South Africa, in approaching her education issues, can learn from the experience of the BRICS countries.


  • Chapter 1
    Critical Issues in South African education
    Charl C. Wolhuter
  • Chapter 2
    The Significance of the BRICS countries as International Datum Line and Data Bank for South African education
    Charl C. Wolhuter
  • Chapter 3
    Early Childhood Education: Benefiting from the BRICS experience by a new front of education development in South Africa
    Benita Taylor, Marinda Neethling, Juliana Seleti
  • Chapter 4
    Language of Learning and Teaching in South Africa and India: A comparative study
    V. Santhakumar, Charl C. Wolhuter
  • Chapter 5
    Aligning education with employment: Lessons from Vocational Education in India and South Africa
    Artwell Marimo, Hennie J. Steyn, Ewelina Niemczyk
  • Chapter 6
    Providing Providing in the unique education needs of minority groups: Lessons from the BRICS countries
    Hennie J. Steyn, Z.L. (Louw) de Beer
  • Chapter 7
    Models of Trilingual Education in China and the Relevance thereof for South Africa
    Charl C. Wolhuter
  • Chapter 8
    Violence and Education in the BRICS Countries: a comparative study
    Johan Botha, Oliver Gore
  • Chapter 9
    The objectives of the Brazilian, Russian, Indian and South African organisation (BRICS) in correlation to the objectives of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
    Deon Vos, Z.L. (Louw) de Beer
  • Chapter 10
    The Creation of World Class Universities in China as an Object Lesson for South Africa
    Charl C. Wolhuter


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