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Spady: OBE in SA: Time to End the Confusion

In an article published in the South African Journal for Science and Technology, Dr William Spady argues that OBE in South Africa has failed, and concludes: ‘South Africa should stop referring to OBE in any form. OBE never existed in 1997, and has only faded farther from the scene as C2005 was replaced by the Revised National Curriculum Statement. The real challenge facing educators is how to implement educational practices that are sound and make significant differences in the lives of ALL South African learners’.

The English version of the article can be read by  clicking here!


23 Responses

  1. I liked to access the summary of W. Spady’s article on the result of implementing OBE in SA. Unfortunately however, when I treid to subscribe to the library by following the link above I couldn’t get through. Is there a way for obtaining the summary. Thanks.

  2. Dear Dr Yaghi
    Thank you for your comment to our Education Library Blog. I will send the article by Spady “OBE in SA: Time to End the Confusion” via e-mail to you. Unfortunately the article was only written in Afrikaans, but the first part of the article has an abstract/summary in English.

  3. Kindly translate to English language.

    Thank you.

  4. Dear Dr Aluko

    I have obtained the full text English version of the article from Dr Spady and have placed it on the Blog

  5. Why is it that most South Africans are still hoodwinked into thinking that South African Education is based upon OBE. This is absolute nonsence. What we now have is a system that is not learner centered at all and has gone back to the old system of examinations set by the education authorities but with a mountain of extra paperwork. OBE is dead in the RSA. It stood no chance in the RSA because it was far too complex and from the beginning there was a serious lack of resources and support to teachers. In a few years time we will have gone full circle and be back to the old system.
    Leon Sumter

  6. OBE and Occupational Qualifications.
    OBE somehow took root and is struggling along in the occupational learnership and skills qualifications. Unfortunately this has turned learnerships and skills programs into what is generally regarded by most training providers and employers as a mountain of useless paperwork involving portfolios of evidence for all the unit standards in the qualification. The reality is that most learnerships have simply become massive paperwork exercises with very little practical training taking place. There is therefore a strong push for the return of apprenticeships albeit in a more structured format. Most of the Seta’s are simply not able to cope with the registration and quality control of learnerships.
    Leon Sumter

  7. OBE is dead, long live content: PLATO

    Posted Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:23am AEST
    A proposed national curriculum will be introduced in 2010.

    The lobby group, PLATO has welcomed a move away from OBE. (www.sxc.hu: Vicky S, file photo)

    A group lobbying against outcomes-based education in Western Australia has welcomed signs a national curriculum will be content-based.

    The head of the National Curriculum Board (NCB) Barry McGaw is in Perth this week to meet local teachers and to discuss the NCB’s progress on a proposed national curriculum for maths, science, English and history, to be introduced after 2010.

    Mr McGaw says the new curriculum will move away from the outcomes-based approach to focus on content.

    The news has been welcomed by Marko Vojkavic from the lobby group PLATO.

    “It’s good to hear that finally we’ve come to our senses and to try and remove content from maths and sciences and history is just ridiculous,” he said.

    “I’m glad to hear that they’re finally moving away from the outcomes-based approach.

    “I think the death knell sounded for OBE about three or four years ago. It’s just taking a long time to finally die, But definitely if Mr McGaw is good on his word then it’s obviously the end of OBE as we know it.”

    The Australians have come to their sences.

    • What absolute rubbish!! Teaching content without context is starkly ridiculous and always has been. Understanding desired outcomes establishes the need for content IN context and nothing more. Wise up, for God’s sake!

      • John, I did not post the “OBE is dead, long live content: PLATO” comment above. The website has somehow by error made me the author. Education should be a mix of content and insight, Both go hand in hand with each other.

  8. Please mail a copy of above mentioned article by Spady to my address. Thank you.

  9. So there we have it folks. The 2008 Grade 12 results are shocking and soon this will become apparent when the learners enter FET and HET institutions.

  10. Bill Spady is quite the snake oil salesman. He travels the world peddling his wares to the detriment of every country. Here in the USA it’s still the garbage being pushed on everybody. So much money to be made from this scam.

  11. In some black schools class sizes exceed 50 learners. There is simply no way that the unfortunate teachers will be able to carry out continuous assessment on 50 learners. These learners do not stand a chance and the teacher will be forced back to ‘talk and chalk’ methodology.

  12. Not that I’m impressed a lot, but this is more than I expected for when I stumpled upon a link on Digg telling that the info here is quite decent. Thanks.

  13. i wish to obtain Spady documents in Afrikaans about the filure of OBE to tydskrif

    • Dear Nkosana (Joseph Mnguni), the Afrikaanse version of the Spady article is available on the Blog on the Downloads Page under 2008.
      The article’s title is: Dis genoeg: maak ‘n einde aan die verwarring oor uitkomsgerigte onderwys in Suid-Afrika/Spady

  14. it is about the failure of OBE in SA about Spady in Tydskrif

  15. At long last common sence prevails. At a meeting of the (CEM) Council of Education Ministers 2nd October 2009 it was resolved to reduce the mountain of admin work inherent in curriculum 2005 by ending the practice of monitoring learner portfolios and the creation of instructional materials by teachers so that there would be more time for classroom instruction. Minister Angie Motshekga is to be commended for taking this brave step. RSA O.B.E has for all intents and purposes died a long overdue natural death. Regretfully the billions spent on this tragic experiment could have been better spent. Hopefully
    ex-teachers will be attracted back to the teaching profession.

  16. Since 1998 two oragnisations in Cape Town SA have opposed OBE namely the Western Cape Parent Teacher Student Forum (WCPTSF )- a body that opposed the rationalsition of 22 000 teacher sin SA in 1996 and the Cocerned Teachers’ Group (CTG ). It said at the time that OBE spells the death of knowledge. Content is absolutely important. Spady is a confused educationist. His philosophy of OBE as Prof Yusef Waghid of Stellenbosch University says, is irrational. Keep him away from SA!

  17. […] Spady: OBE in SA: Time to End the Confusion April 2008 20 comments 5 […]

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