Thursday, January 15, 2009

The education crisis in South Africa

After the debacle of the matric results in South Africa this year, it is not surprising that both employers and tertiary institutions lack faith in government statistics on school leavers. It appears that although the pass rate has remained largely the same, the quality of graduates have decreased tremendously over the last 5 years.

If the South African department of education spent more time focusing on the core issues facing the youth in this country, and less time trying to 'normalise' the pass rate statistics, everyone would be better off. I've made a Naledi Pandor cartoon covering popular sentiment in South Africa over her effectiveness in her current role and the apparent success of outcome-based education - do check it out and drop your comments!


Kaome said...

true that boss, a lot has to be done, like hiring more foreign teachers, zim teachers can do the job

Simon Roche said...

This debacle is a symptom of incompetence, an argument which can be successfully substantiated ad infinitum.

But let’s open the topic beyond what we all already know, and describe the lesser-discussed rot at the foundations of South African people’s revolutionary education. Forgive the venom, but it is proper to be commensurate to the matter.

My children’s text books in primary school feature special idiocies like the following: “Norway” written above a map of Greenland in the Gauteng Grade 4 English book; a chapter entitled (honestly) “Earth and Beyond and Systems and Control”, stories featuring (one) character called by differentl names, and so the list goes on. I am told by two pupils and two teachers that the Classroom Mathematics Teacher’s Guide is NOTORIOUS for errors and that the kids are FOREVER correcting the teachers.

We are breeding generations of fools because their socialisation process is governed by imbeciles, not because I say so but because the quality of their own work speaks for itself.

Would you believe me if I told you that one of the subjects in the new CAPS system is called Personal Self Wellbeing, or would you say that it is just nasty of me to expect that South African teachers avoid the error of tautology at all costs lest a shocking example be set?

So, how could our education system, as a whole, possibly succeed on such foundations as those described above?

There is no hope whatsoever, not because I say so, and because I am negative, or whatever. There is no hope because the system cannot fix itself, and the ANC and its deployed cadres in the government have shown over many years that they are either incapable of or unwilling to fix it.

What a terrible pity.