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Results of South African matrics are up by 7%

South African students writing the national matric exams in 2010 managed to score a 67.8% pass rate – a 7.2 % improvement on the results from 2009, despite schooldays lost to the Fifa Soccer World Cup and the prolonged public servant’s strike in 2010.

All the provinces registered a marked improvement on the 2009 results:

  • Gauteng: 78.6% (71.8% in 2009)
  • Western Cape: 76.8% (75.7% in 2009)
  • North West: 75.7% (67.5% in 2009)
  • Northern Cape: 72.3% (61% in 2009)
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 70.7% (61.1% in 2009)
  • Free State: 70.7% (69.4% in 2009)
  • Eastern Cape: 58.3% (51% in 2009)
  • Limpopo: 57.9% (48.9% in 2009)
  • Mpumalanga: 56.8% (47.9% in 2009)

Education specialists though are divided on the question of whether such an unexpectedly huge improvement is educationally both believable and reliable as a true indicator of pupils’ aptitudes.

Questions also remain about the performance of children in rural and township schools, in particular whether these  disadvantaged pupils recorded similarly vast increases in achievement.

To read more:
Go to the article on MediaClubSouthAfrica.com by Clicking Here!
Go to David MacFarlane and Kamogelo Seekoei’s article in the Mail and Guardian by Clicking Here!

Click Here to read the SA government’s Report on the National Senior Certificate Examination Results
All the results and profiles of the top schools and students can be found at  IEB microsite

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

 

In 2010, there were 41 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 156 posts. There were 4 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb.

The busiest day of the year was August 13th with 168 views. The most popular post that day was New Curriculum for South African schools.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were library.up.ac.za, google.co.za, en.wordpress.com, search.conduit.com, and ais.up.ac.za.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for obe, uitkomsgebaseerde onderwys in suid-afrika, cheryl de la rey, obe in south africa, and curriculum 2025 south africa.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

New Curriculum for South African schools July 2010
2 comments

2

What is behind South Africa’s high university dropout rates? March 2009
1 comment

3

Study on violence in South African schools shocks! April 2008
2 comments

4

Spady: OBE in SA: Time to End the Confusion April 2008
20 comments

5

Save the OBE system in South African schools urgently! April 2008
3 comments

African universities score poorly in World University rankings

African universities again fared dismally compared to other universities in the Times Higher Education World Universities rankings. The only African universities in the top 200 slots globally are the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and The University of Alexandria in Egypt.

Five elements of higher education were considered:

  • the volume of research undertaken
  • how the institutions were relevant to the job market
  • ratio of the number of students versus academic staff
  • diversity on campus — a sign of how global an institution is in its outlook
  • the impact of the research conducted

“The ability of an institution to attract the very best staff from across the world is key to global success”, lead researcher Ann Mroz said. “The staff-to-student ratio is employed as a proxy for teaching quality”, she added.

The survey also showed that high density of research students are indicative of  more knowledge intensive institutions and that the presence of an active post-graduate community is a marker of a research-led teaching environment.

The teaching category also examined the ratio of PhDs to bachelor’s degrees awarded by each institution.

The University of Cape Town was ranked 107th among the global top 200 institutions.

To read more go to Benjamin Muindi’s article in the Daily Nation by Clicking Here!

or go to David McFarlane’s article in the Mail and Guardian by Clicking Here!

Blade Nzimande announces immediate priorities for Department of Higher Education and Training

Dr Blade Nzimande, South African Higher Education and Training Minister recently announced some immediate priorities of the Department of Higher Education and Training. Speaking on post-school options for the Matric Class of 2009, he reiterrated that the next few months will see progress to many of the goals that has been set for the Department.

Some immediate priorities that Nzimande highlighted is support for the South African Deputy-president in the establishment of the HRD-SA Council, the strengthening of the National Skills Authority and paying particular attention to issues such as improving access and success rates in universities and colleges, developing the post-school funding system, advancing access to and quality of the College sector, redefining the SETA landscape and addressing efficiency challenges in the National Skills Fund.

He also announced that a higher education summit will be held in April where the challenge of transformation in higher education will be confronted. At the summit the the role of universities in interacting with and strengthening of other sectors of the system, especially colleges, will also be discussed.

Nzimande will also meet with the Chairs of Councils of the 23 South African universities to discuss the Soudien report on racial and other discrimination at higher education institutions.

The South African Government is committed to strengthen the country’s skills and human resource base, and as part of this commitment the Department of Higher Education and Training intend to broaden access to post-school education over time, Nzimande said. He indicated that the shape of the South African post-secondary system is not appropriately balanced between universities and colleges. Whilst access to universities must increase, enrolment in colleges should double in the next five years.  

For Universities, expansion of the system will be preceded by the careful prior development of capacity as part of the Department’s enrolment planning process with the sector: Enrolments must be matched to available resources, physical, human and financial. The average annual growth rate in head count student enrolments between 2005 (the base year for the enrolment planning process) and 2008 was 2.8%, compared to the target rate of 2.0% set in October 2007 by the Ministry of Education. The data available shows that student enrolments surged above these averages between 2007 and 2008. The head count student enrolment total rose from 761 000 in 2007 to 799 000 in 2008; an increase of 38 000 or 5%. The Full-Time Equivalent enrolled total, which is an indicator of the student load carried by the higher education system, rose from 519 000 in 2007 to 540 000 in 2008; an increase of 21 000 or 4%. Enrolments in Science and Technology majors grew at a rate of only 1.1% pa, between 2005 and 2008; compared to the target rate of 2.9% pa. The Department is awaiting the enrolment data for 2009, but understand that a further surge in headcount was experienced in many Universities. Work has begun on the second Cycle of System and Institutional Enrolment Planning.

He emphasized that increase in access, particularly of the poor and the working class, must be accompanied by increases in graduation rates, and success rates at all levels of study. Success is related to institutional investment in improving teaching and learning, and in student support and the social and living conditions of students.

To read Dr Blade Nzimande’s full speech Click Here!