The deterioration of education in South Africa has been a non-stop topic for parents, business, government critics and staff within the education system itself.
Apartheid education for white children was considered one of the finest government learning systems in the world. Unfortunately, the aftermath of inequality found equality in a ‘dumbing down’ of education for all. Rather than correct itself over the past decade and a half, the education system has reeled from disaster to disaster, from leaders without leadership abilities to over-packed classrooms and the unavailability of available school books.
Deserving specific mention are the misbehaving teachers in the unions, particularly SADTU (South African Democratic Teachers’ Union) with its over a quarter million members. Everyone will agree that teachers have rights but their value is diminished by the fact that they hold the record for the most strike days in South Africa. Teachers, as a group via their actions, seem to have become selfish politicians instead of nurturers of the future.
South Africa is no closer to mending the broken education system, especially with regards fixing the people problem, but there has been, at least, an arse-about-face intent to address the worthless Matric pass standards.
The National Senior Certificate (NSC) only requires that a learner achieve 30% or more in 3 subjects and 40% or more in another 3 subjects. You can fail your seventh subject (so long as it’s not your home language – that requires 40%).
That immoral low achievement is emulated with higher education whose ‘expectations’ are:
In order to qualify for entry into further study at the Diploma level, a learner must pass the NSC as follows:
- One official language at home language level at 40%.
- 3 other subjects at 40%.
- 2 subjects at 30%.
In order to qualify for entry into further study at the Bachelor Degree level, a learner must pass the NSC as follows:
- One official language at home language level at 40% or more.
- 4 subjects from the designated list of subjects at 50% or more.
- 2 subjects at a minimum of 30%.
[important]Despite half of children starting Grade 1 dropping out before Grade 12, another 26% failed their Matric in 2012. That that was considered an improvement! totally supported the low expectations of educators. This past December, the Mail & Guardian reported that “the national assessment results showed that grade nine pupils scored a shocking maths average of 13%”. The University dropout rate in the 1st year is estimated at 50%. The lack of standards is infectious when you consider policemen without driver’s licences and how many politicians are not qualified for their jobs (beyond the public’s’ right to vote no matter how uneducated and uncaringly uninformed they are). [/important]
Its inadequacy is so frustrating and maddening that instead of me simply stating, as i’d intended, that the standards of the Matric are to finally be investigated, i’ve taken 480 words to get to the point.
Despite committees having being established last year, they’re only now getting into gear to investigate the NSC. And, according to Education Minister Angie Motshekga, we’ll have to wait until at least February 2014 for those results which means that another year of miseducation is guaranteed.
PS: Please don’t mistake this as an argument against all teachers. There are obviously wonderful educators all around our country, pulling off miracles because they care. This is about the system, as a whole, and the incompetent government behind it.