This book is about challenges and issues facing the school system of South Africa; specifically the harsh realities facing schools. The lockdown in South Africa to contain the coronavirus pandemic has exposed inequalities in the country’s childhood education. Health concerns have collided with a pre-existing social and economic crisis in which poorer citizens lack access to the same quality of space and services. The residual effects of apartheid have had tremendous impacts on the poverty rate, and the remnants of racial inequality in South Africa are still playing a role in the nation’s economic structure to this day. In the 1990s, South Africa’s Gini coefficient–a measure that reflects inequality, where zero is absolute equality and one is absolute inequality–was, at 0.66, the highest in all the 57 countries for which this data was available. Inequality has remained stubbornly high. But did the system work for everybody before? Historically, black South African women suffered “triple marginalisation”, precipitated by race, sexism, and social class. The COVID-19 pandemic could be the catalyst for action to address the consequences of inequalities in South Africa’s education system. South Africa started the 1990s with already elevated inequality as the policy of apartheid excluded a large swath of the population from economic opportunities. Indeed, South Africa did realise a rapid expansion of education, including increased enrolment, but the quality of education has remained poor and largely characterised by inequality. The South African story. resources for higher education. If one were to measure an education system’s strength purely on access, South Africa would be a schooling success story. South Africa has long been known as one of the most unequal societies in the world. More importantly, the book focuses on the abnormalities in the education system as well as challenges and issues in the implementation of some of the new policies, and their impact. South Africa’s Gini—an index that measures inequality—has increased further in the early 2000s and has remained high ever since. In fact, South Africa remains the most racially unequal country in the entire world. Similarly, the shocking levels of social inequality in South Africa is hardly in issue since South Africa ranks amongst one of the most unequal societies on earth (Southall, 2016). Broken and Unequal: The State of Education in South Africa … In South Africa’s higher education institutions, systemic gender inequality is seen through through skewed enrolments, stereotypical course selection, and poor career progression. Some of the harder structural issues of the inequality discussion in South Africa revolve around facilitating access to land, housing and infrastructure, such as public transport. 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