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Our Education is in Crisis – New Report

 According to a new Finweek report just released, South Africa’s Education is in crisis mode. Below the summary of the report as quoted from their website: www.fin24.com “The report revealed not only the shocking skills shortage 13 years into post apartheid South Africa, but a fundamental crisis in an education system sorely lacking resources to adequately equip a nation for future growth.  “According to the report, the bottom line was the failure of the education system to face up to the challenges of global competition in the 21st century.   “We’re probably talking about an effort – assuming for argument sake we get the education system functioning optimally now – lasting an entire generation before we see the results of a well-educated society working its way through the labour market and economy,” Stellenbosch economist Servaas van den Berg told Finweek.  “During the past two years, the South African education system ejected 535 000 people from school without any passing certificate and a very uncertain future. Without doubt these (school leavers) will join the ranks of the unemployed… At this time citizens between the ages of 20-24 represent 14% of the labour force, but are already over represented among the unemployed, accounting for roughly 27% of that number.  “Add to that last year’s report by Education Minister Naledi Pandor that less than half of the 675 132 learners who started school in 1999 actually made it to matric.  “Of the 564 775 matriculants who wrote the year end exam last year, more than 200 000 failed.  The decline in pass rate and lack of skills, says the report, is creating a slippery slope for further economic growth.  “It warns that a knowledge economy cannot survive with a severe imbalance between the educated and uneducated; causing a self fulfilling vicious cycle, lack of skills reducing demand and vice versa.   “Statistics reveal numbers that are cause for serious concern: Between 1999 and 2004, an average of only 4.4% of matriculants achieved mathematics passes adequate for gaining entry into university to study natural sciences.  “The fact that in 1999 only half of the country’s maths and science teachers had tertiary qualifications in these subjects is as worrying.  “For the past 16 years, fewer than 7% of Senior Certificate candidates passed higher grade maths, according to a 2007 Centre for Development Enterprises survey on maths and science in schools.   “The prognosis for the matric classes of 2010 and 2011 is not much better.  “When the class of 2010 (now in grade 10) was in grade 3 in 2001, the national survey of performance showed that 30% did not achieve the required standard in numeracy, and 54% did not achieve the required standard in literacy.  “For the class of 2011, the 2005 grade 6 evaluation showed that only 28% performed at the required standard in numeracy. For literacy, only 38%.  “In addition to the education crisis, South Africa is losing skilled professionals to other countries who use South Africa as a hunting ground for recruitment. A study recently found that the loss of one skilled professional in SA costs up to 10 unskilled jobs.   “The fact that very little is being done to train a next generation of engineers, scientists and other professionals needed for a growing economy is even more frightening.  

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