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High school in South Africa
2006

Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world," and yet nearly two decades after the end of apartheid, most of South Africa's schools in black townships are desperately failing their charges. Kulani High School is one of two high schools located in Langa, outside of Cape Town. Its grounds and buildings are surrounded by barb wire fence and those allowed entry must first pass through a locked gate and two sets of security guards. There are 1800 students and only 54 teachers. Classrooms are overcrowded and teachers underpaid. 50% of  students do not pass the required final examinations necessary to graduate. Those that do succeed in their exams have a slim chance of continuing on to universities for advanced degrees. Many boys and girls are tempted by gang life with all the protection and power it affords. Drugs are rampant, and students might spend the entire day smoking "tik" methamphetamine in the bathroom without  notice of teachers or administration. One student, Bongani, explains "most of the schools are not safe--you can be stabbed while at school or robbed by a fellow student after school. In January, classes are full but by mid-June half of students are gone because they are in jail, in gangs, or pregnant." 

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