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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! 

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Rise in SA university student drop-out-rate expected

South African vice-chancellors warned the government recently to expect more students to drop out following shocking results of  pilot national benchmark tests.

A draft report produced for the vice-chancellors’ association Higher Education South Africa (HESA) by the National Benchmark Tests Project shows that most first-year students could not adequately read, write or comprehend – and universities that conduct regular competency tests have reported a decline in standards.

HESA’s findings make it clear that South Africa’s school system, which is following the Outcomes Based Education System,  is continuing to fail its pupils and the country. This will place pressure on universities to do a lot more to tackle what appear to be growing proficiency gaps.

To read more go to Karen MacGregor’s article on University World News by Clicking Here!

Minister of Education proposes replacement of 3 year university degrees with 4 year degrees

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!