Posted on 5 July, 2010 by Johann van Wyk
Internatonal research, including research done in Africa, continues to endorse the view that mother-tongue education is the way to go.
Language experts blame at least some of South Africa’s poor educational results, and its poor showing in international tests of reading and maths ability, on a lack of mother-tongue education, especially in primary school.
To read the rest of Sue Blaine’s article in Business Day on allAfrica.com Click Here!
Filed under: Edu News (South Africa), research, Schools | Tagged: Business Day, drop-out rates, lack, Mathematics Skills, mother-tongue education, poor educational results, primary school, reading literacy, reasons, Sue Blaine | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 19 January, 2010 by Johann van Wyk
South Africa is sitting on a “social time bomb” with more than 3 million youths between the ages of 18 and 24 who don’t have jobs and don’t receive any education or training. A recent report by the Centre for Higher Education and Transformation (CHET) titled “Responding to the educational needs of post-school youth” indicates that this is not only an education problem , but part of a “socio-economic disaster”.
In 2007, 2.8 million of the approximately 6.7 million youths between 18 and 24 had no jobs or training. Only 35.3% of them attended educational institutions.
To read more go to Alet Rademeyer’s article on News 24 by Clicking Here!
To read the report Click Here!
Filed under: Edu News (South Africa), Reports | Tagged: Centre for Higher Education and Transformation, Education, jobless, lack, lack of education, lack of training, post-school youth, training, youth | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 17 September, 2009 by Johann van Wyk
The recent publication in South Africa of the results of pilots of the new National Benchmark Tests – tests which measure the performance of school-leavers in three key areas and aim to predict whether or not they will have difficulty as they enter university – has brought a flurry of outrage from academics and politicians. They are reported as claiming that standards are dropping and students can’t read or write. While this sort of knee-jerk reaction to tests conducted at a national level is largely predictable, especially in a country where the school system still experiences huge problems, it is also questionable given research produced in the field of academic development – an area which has long concerned itself with the issue of student ‘under-preparedness’ at universities…….
To read the rest of this article by Chrissey Boughey on University World News Click Here!
Filed under: Edu News (South Africa), Higher Education, Reports | Tagged: academics, Chrissey Boughey, dropping, lack, matrics, National Benchmark Tests, performance, reaction, reading skills, school-leavers, South Africa, standards, student under-preparedness, universities, university entrance, University World News, writing skills | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 17 July, 2009 by Johann van Wyk
The Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande recently suggested that the current matric exemption system should be revised. He said the exemption rate of 18% of South African matriculants was too low to accept as a reflection of their abilities. “It is not true that that all students who do not get exemptions cannot succeed in higher education”, he said at a briefing ahead of the education budget debate. According to Nzimande ways and means will have to be found to identify those who have potential even if they did not get an exemption.
The Higher Education Review Committee is looking at the possibility of introducing university entrance exams to give students who failed in getting exemption another chance at studying at higher education institutions.
Universities have complained that matriculants lack the necessary academic skill to cope with higher learning. According to Nzimande the universities will have to take responsibility in helping them adjust.
Nzimande also mooted the possibility of increasing the time needed to finish a standard degree from three to four years. If this is applied it could lead to the abolishment of honours degrees, and students with a degree could then proceed directly to masters, as is the case in many other countries.
To read more go to the News24 article “Nzimande moots educational changes” by Clicking Here!
Filed under: Edu News (South Africa), Higher Education, Minister of Higher Education and Training | Tagged: abolish, academic skill, access, Blade Nzimande, degree, entrance, four years, Higher Education, honours, lack, matric exemption, Minister of Higher Education and Training, South Africa, three years, universities, university entrance exams | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 19 June, 2009 by Johann van Wyk
“The Southern African Regional Universities Association last year published an important report titled Opening Access to Knowledge in Southen African Universities. This report identified key constraints in access to knowledge in universities in the SADC Region and builds on the findings from two earlier studies of SARUA, A Status Review of ICT in Universities in the SADC Region (2006), and Science and Technology: A Baseline Study on Science and Technology and Higher Education in the SADC Region (2007).
The authors show that the presence of research from Africa in leading international peer-reviewed journals is diminishing, and also highlights the obstacles that prevent the majority of African research from ever receiving an adequate profile or readership within African research communities, and internationally. Reasons for the restictions on access to knowledge in Africa, and particularly in the Southern African Region are shown to revolve around restrictive copyright practices and regulations, and a lack of access to Internet-based technologies, out-dated paradigms for knowledge collection and dissimination, and the lack of creative and effective government supported enabling environments within higher education to match the vision of African leaders for knowledge and innovation in Africa in the 21st Century.” (From the foreword to the Report by Piyushi Kotecha)
To read the report Click Here!
Filed under: Edu News (Africa), Higher Education, Open Access, Statistics, Web 2.0 | Tagged: access, copyright restrictions, diminishing, government support, Higher Education, journal articles, knowledge, lack, Open Access, publishing, research, SARUA, Southern Africa, Southern African Rionalm Universities Association, universities | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 15 August, 2008 by Johann van Wyk
Three-year university degrees in South Africa may be a thing of the past if the Minister of Education’s proposal to make degrees four-year courses, is accepted by the Council for Higher Education. The four-year degree is a personal idea of the minister’s to close the gap between university and business, after employers indicated that graduates were lacking in language skills. (She believes all students should have at least a working knowledge of one indigenous language and an introduction to African history and civilisation). The fourth year would give students the extra time universities need to do additional training.
Another problem she identified is the high number of students who drop out. There are several factors that contribute to this. Schools fail to teach proper language skills and many first-year students struggle to cope with academic language and independent research and learning.
The fourth year will thus be a bridging year to the workplace.
To read more go to the Star Newspaper article by Clicking Here!
Filed under: Edu News (South Africa), Higher Education, Minister of Education South Africa | Tagged: 3 year degrees, 4 year degrees, academic language, African civilisation, African History, bridging year, curriculum changes, dropout-rate, independent research skills, indigenous language, lack, language skills, learning skills, South Africa, universities | Leave a Comment »