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South African schools fared poorly in WEF Report

South African primary schools were placed 132th out of 144 countries with regard to quality teaching, and 115th with regard to access by children to these schools. This is the findings of the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2012/2013.

A positive point however was that South Africa’s Higher Education and Training sector as a whole was placed at 84th position. This could be because South Africa has a number of world-class universties, according to Graeme Bloch, an independent Education expert.

With regards to the quality of mathematics and science education South Africa was placed second last.

Countries with the best primary education according to the report is Belgium, Finland, New Zealand, Singapore, Netherlands, Iceland and Canada.

To read more go to Alet Rademeyer’s article in the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld by Clicking Here!

To read the WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2012/2013, Click Here!

More than 1 million pupils in South Africa repeat their school year

1. 2 million (11.1 %) of the 11 062 399 pupils that were in the South African school system last year had to repeat their school year. This is the findings of an analysis done by Dr Jean Van Rooyen, researcher at the Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria.

In 2010, 251 669 (24.7 %) of grade 10 learners and 201 918 (22.9 %) of grade 11 learners repectively, repeated these grades. In 2011 the numbers were 242 279 (22.1%) and 185 414 (21.9%) respectively.

Alet Rademeyer in Beeld list repeaters across all grades in 2011 as follows:

Grade Number of learners
Grade 1 155 394
Grade 2   86 346
Grade 3   72 134
Grade 4   80 240
Grade 5   59 572
Grade 6   49 682
Grade 7   37 759
Grade 8   73 871
Grade 9 148 390
Grade 10 242 279
Grade 11 185 414
Grade 12   40 002

To read more go to Alet Rademeyer’s article in the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld by Clicking Here! 

South African research output rises

A recent analysis of South Africa’s scientific performance shows that research outputs rose between 2000 and 2010. During this period South Africa also more than doubled its publication numbers, improved its international publications ranking by two positions, and was ranked 33rd in the world.

These results came from a research paper published by Prof Anastassios Pouris, director of the Intsitute for Technological Innovation at the University of Pretoria, in the South African Journal of Science.

The paper, titled, Science in South Africa: the dawn of a new renaissance? shows an increase in paper publications from 3617 in 2000 to 7468 in 2010.

To read more go to Wilma den Hartigh’s article on BIZCommunity.com by clicking here!

To read more go to Charl Blignaut’s article in City Press by Clicking here!

To read Prof Anastassios Pouris’ paper Click Here!

South Africa’s FET colleges receives R2.5 billion boost

South Africa’s 50 further education and training colleges (FET) recently received their share of the R2.5 billion which have been earmarked for the expansion of the FET sector to help in skills development in the key growth sectors of the South African economy. A further R1.5 billion will be made available for infrastructure improvement of the colleges.

To read more go to Megan Wait’s article in Creamer Media’s Engineering News by Clicking Here!

Education in crisis – FW de Klerk Foundation

Education in South Africa is in serious traouble, the FW de Klerk foundation said recently.

“Poor education lies at the root of most of South Africa’s problems, including unemployment, poverty and inequality”, it said in a statement.

The recent Limpopo textbook scandal was simply a sympton of much wider malaise. The crisis was also not because of a lack of resources. In 2011 the country spent 6 % of its gross domestic product on education.

The education system is failing to achieve basic standards of literacy and numeracy in grades three and six. This can be seen in the ranking of South Africa’s education system by the World Economic Forum as 133rd out of 142 countries.

To read more go to the SAPA article on News24 by Clicking Here!

Education crisis ‘not Verwoerd’s fault’ – Mamphela Ramphele

The ‘monumental failure’ in South African education was not Hendrik Verwoerd’s fault, but that of the current South African government, former anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele recently said at the Educational Management Association Conference, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. This is in contrast to a statement made by President Jacob Zuma in which he blamed Verwoerd for the mess in South African schools. Ramphele said children under apartheid’s “gutter” education were better educated than today.

“By jove, at least the kids could write and read. And many of them understood history and understood geography”, she said.

To read more got to Leanne Jansen’s article in The Mercury on IOL News by Clicking Here!

or to read more go to Anne Sewell’s article in the Digital Journal by Clicking Here! 

South Africa: Higher Education challenges of racism and access

Chika Sehoole, Professor at University of Pretoria, 22 July 2012, University World News

“Although admissions figures for black students and numbers of black staff have improved in the post-apartheid era, many black people still feel excluded within the university system and there are problems with a lack of available places to meet the demand for higher education. At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, South Africa’s higher education sector made national and international news headlines.

At the end of 2011, the University of Pretoria was hit by allegations of apparent racism among its staff. A black engineering professor alleged systematic harassment and victimisation, on racial grounds.

At the beginning of the 2012 academic year, a black parent was killed in a stampede at the gates of the University of Johannesburg, where crowds of prospective students had gathered in the quest to gain admission into this university.

These two incidents – allegations of racism and the quest for access to higher education, especially by black people – are just two examples of the challenges that South Africa experiences in meeting some of the priority areas identified in 1994 by the post-apartheid government.”

To read the rest of Chika Sehoole’s article on University World News, Click Here!

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