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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 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!

UP rector opens Groenkloof Campus Infrastructure Development

Professor Cheryl de la Rey, UP principal and vice chancellor, left and Prof Irma Eloff, dean of Faculty of Education, right

During the recent opening of the new infrastructure development at the Groenkloof Campus of the University of Pretoria (UP), Professor Cheryl de la Rey, vice chancellor and principal stressed the importance of producing quality teachers who will be able to excel in the subjects that they teach. De la Rey also stressed her concern about the decline in the numbers of teachers in the country and the importance of reversing this trend. She added that education was the means to transform the country.

According to De la Rey investment in education is vital and that UP has to be responsive to the needs of South Africa and the African continent

 Some of the major building projects include 3 new high technology lecture theatres with 350; 350 and 400 seats; an open air amphi theatre (boma) next to the Groenkloof dam; lifts; bathrooms and a special passage for people with disabilities; science laboratories; 121 computer working stations; bathrooms and the upgrading of many facilities on the  Groenkloof Campus.

New lecture theatre







This new infrastructure development  will provide the necessary cutting edge equipment and facilities needed to ensure the production of quality teachers.

South African Education Faculties flooded by students

The calibre of teachers in schools looks set to drastically improve as scores of South Africa’s top students sign up for the teaching profession, writes Prega Govender on Times Live.

Universities across the country confirmed being flooded with applications from first-year students wanting to study the four-year teaching degree.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s education faculty, increased its admission requirements after receiving almost 14,000 applications for only 650 places

Increased applications for the teaching degree at other South African institutions include:

  • University of Johannesburg: 2690 applications with 965 enrolled;
  • University of the Witwatersrand: 2800 applications with only 420 enrolled;
  • University of Pretoria: 2625 applications with 1333 enrolled;
  • University of Limpopo: more than 1500 applications for 524 places;
  • North West University: 1851 applications at two of its three campuses for 926 places; and
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University: 1452 applications and only 365 admitted.

The University of Cape Town though does not offer the bachelor of education degree, and Stellenbosch University recorded a drop of 64 in its teacher enrolment from 280 last year to 216 this year.

A very encouraging trend according to Bobby Soobrayan, director -general of Basic Education is that pupils with good matric passes are thinking about teaching, which is ideal “as we want good students to go into teaching”.

To read Prega Govender’s original article that were published on Times Live Click Here!


Story writing exhibition at University of Pretoria’s Education Library

As part of Library Week Celebrations the Education Library of the University of Pretoria recently hosted an exhibition of Stories written and compiled by Early Childhood Education students in 2008. These stories were entered in a competition sponsored by Oxford University Press. The stories form part of a Story Reading Project which has run for a number of years as an innovation outcome of the Early Literacy Module in the Early Childhood Education Programme in the Faculty of Education, at University of Pretoria. picture-033

Dr Ina Joubert who heads up this project received an Education

Innovation award in 2006 for this project. The creativity of the students were really amazing and of the highest standard!


Sonja Delport and members of the library team at the Education library worked really hard to ensure that the exhibition was a great success.   



The exhibition was officially opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof Irma Eloff on 18 March 2009 and ran till 27 March 2009. In her opening address for the exhibition the dean read a poem by Strickland Gillilan to emphasize the importance of reading to the little child:


Richer Than Goldpicture-027
“You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be —

I had a mother who read to me.”


To see photos of the exhibition on Slideshare Click Here!


Centenary Research Indaba 2008

The Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria, South Africa will be hosting a Centenary Research Indaba on the 11th of April at the Groenkloof Campus of the University. The theme of the Research Indaba will be “100 Years of Knowledge: Reflecting on the Paving of Ways into the Future”.

To view the programme and abstracts of papers that will be presented, click here!

University of Pretoria Centenary Celebrations: List of books written by Education Lecturers at UP 1908-2008

University of Pretoria is this year 100 years old, and as part of the celebrations we have compiled a list of all the books, theses and dissertations written by Education lecturers at UP from 1908-2008 

To access the list click here!

University of Pretoria appoints new Dean of Education

Irma Eloff 

The University of Pretoria has appointed Prof Irma Eloff as the new Dean of the Faculty of Education.  The position became vacant in April last year (2007), following Prof Jonathan Jansen’s resignation. Prof Eloff has been Acting Dean since August 2006. The University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Education is arguably one of the leading education faculties in South Africa. It has made advances on several fronts including research and research outputs, postgraduate training and the number of National Research Foundation (NRF) ratings. In addition to the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes offered by the Faculty on the Groenkloof Campus of the University of Pretoria, the Faculty also has a substantial complement of distance education students. More than 14 000 teachers nationwide are enrolled for programmes in the Faculty.The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Prof Calie Pistorius, noted that “the education of teachers is undoubtedly a national priority, and one that the University of Pretoria is committed to. Professor Eloff’s appointment will ensure that the Faculty of Education will have an even greater impact, not only with regard to the undergraduate and postgraduate training of teachers, but also in research and community engagement programmes. The Faculty enjoys extensive international collaboration and will contribute towards the University’s international standing.”Prof Eloff grew through the ranks of the University of Pretoria; first starting as a teaching assistant in 1991; later becoming lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor (1998) and professor (2002). She has extensive management experience, having served as head of department, chair of the School of Educational Studies and acting dean.Having done her undergraduate studies at the University of North West in the late 1980s, Professor Eloff came to the University of Pretoria where she obtained most of her teaching qualifications between 1990 and 1996, including HED Education, B Ed (Educational Psychology) and M Ed (Educational Psychology). She obtained her PhD (Educational Psychology) at the University of Stellenbosch in 1997. She was also a visiting assistant professor at the Yale University (USA) from October 2001 to January 2002.Professor Eloff has published widely, including three books on life skills including educational psychology, and has supervised a number of postgraduate students on the masters and doctoral levels. She has been involved in numerous community projects as part of her academic duties at the University of Pretoria, including:

  • The Sunnyside Primary Language Enrichment Project (aimed at mobilising support structures to provide weekly language enrichment to learners in the Sunnyside suburb).
  • The Kgolo-Mmogo project (focusing on resilience in mothers and children affected by HIV and AIDS).
  • Educator capacity development, learnership development and psycho-social support for HIV and AIDS.

Results from PIRLS 2006 International Report is shocking!

South Africa’s Grade 4s & Grade 5s came last in a study of 40 countries that took part in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2006. This was revealed yesterday at the release of the South African results at a news conference in Irene, South Africa by Prof Sarah Howie and her team from the Centre for Evaluation Assessment at the University of Pretoria, that co-ordinated the research nationally. 

The PIRLS 2006 International Report is available at http://timss.bc.edu/PDF/p06_international_report.pdf