Mbulelo Nguta

Education Reformer
Speaking at


Evidence-based and quality-oriented education reforms

In South Africa, education is largely run for ideological reasons that bear little on what works based on available research and evidence. South Africa urgently requires a shift in its national consciousness towards evidence-based reforms that work. I am a school choice champion and have always believed that school choice is a simple solution to solve our crisis of inferior education. But my collision with reality and evidence has forced me to revise my positions. In South Africa, government schools are largely a failure and there have been no meaningful reforms to fix this. Freedom-led reforms are compelling – not just for their own sake. For any ideas that call for our attention, they must be put through the exercise of following facts and evidence on the basis of which they must rise or fall. I want to talk about reforms that work based on evidence.


Mbulelo Nguta is an education reformer and a co-founder of the Institute for Education Reforms, a new project based in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. He has previously practised as a lawyer. He is a Mandela-Washington Fellow and was based at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in the US. He is a blogger and writes for national newspapers.

Twitter: @MbuleloNguta