The Theme of Education Within the Novel

The pursuit of formal higher education is a major theme within the novel. As main characters, both Refentse and Refilwe are highly educated with multiple degrees and successful in the pursuit of their writing careers. Their families and home village are very proud of their educational achievements. In a post-apartheid South Africa education and skill attainment is viewed as a path to economic advancement and success. Under apartheid, education was not viewed for the most part as an avenue for a better life. The education system was segregated by race and designed to provide black South Africans with the basic skills needed to work in the mines, on the farms, or as a maid or gardener. Back then the system of education was called Bantu Education, an inferior education meant for the role black South Africans would play in society. Today, South Africa is in the process of transforming their education system so to provide a quality formal education for all. An educated populous is essential for most societies around the world and in South Africa the level of education achieved is a major barometer to the access to job opportunities and social advancement.

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