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SA Education system the 4th worst in the world according to Newsweek

Newsweek‘s (16 August 2010) list of the world’s best countries put South Africa at 82nd overall, and ranks our education system 97th out of 100, which is 4th from the bottom. South Africa’s education performance is even ranked below countries like Mozambique, Bangladesh and Iran, states less wealthy or less free.

Newsweek explained that the best performing school systems do the following things very well:

  • They have high-quality pre-school provision, which does more for a child’s chances in school than any other intervention.
  • The best schools have students who arrive early at school, leave later, attend more regularly and come on Saturdays when they need to.
  • Superior schools have teachers who thrive on the effort, investment and care put into their training, and who respond well to ongoing evaluation and performance bonuses.
  • Great schools help struggling students through individual attention and mentorship.

To read more go to Wilmot James’ article on Politicsweb by Clicking Here!

or go to Liesl Peyper’s Afrikaans article in the Beeld newspaper by Clicking Here!


Quality of Education in SA fares badly in comparison with poorer countries

 The quality of education in South Africa fares badly in comparison with that of other poorer countries, according to research by The Human Sciences Research Council.

Cas Prinsloo, the chief research specialist at the education research unit, recently commented that national comparative pupil assessments and trends in international maths and science surveys, particularly at grades 4 and 8, showed that South Africa was “at the bottom of the log”. Research by the University of Pretoria on reading and literacy also showed that we compared poorly. 9 out of 10 pupils did not even achieve the basic benchmark for reading literacy tests.

Prinsloo lists the following reasons for this underperformance: 

  • poor literacy levels at home
  • lack of textbooks and support materials
  • teachers who lacked training (capacity to train teachers was lost by the reduction of the number of teachers training institutions)
  • many of the teachers in the system qualified before 1994 with poor qualifications and poor methods of teaching
  • many skilled teachers had been lost to overseas countries or early retirement, mainly due to frustration

Positive things the research showed were:

  • teachers realise their backlog in foundational knowledge and want to get it right
  • teachers are motivated and commited to advance their own qualifications where they can

To read the original article written by Latoya Newman in The Mercury newspaper Click Here!