• Education Library

  • Library Website

  • Library Facebook

  • Library Catalogue Keyword Search

  • New Books in the Library

  • Pages

  • Select a Category

  • Visitors to this Site

  • Archives

  • Advertisements

Pupils from Model C schools doing better

The latest South Africa Survey recently released by the South African Institute for Race Relations have found amongst others that Model C schools (former whites-only schools) were still setting the pace for quality education. Race was found to be less important as a factor of scholastic achievement than the type of school a child attends. The matric rate for blacks in Model C schools in 2009 was 88%, compared to only 55% overall in all government schools. Coloured pupils in Model C schools achieved an 88 % pass rate compared to 76% overall while Indian pupils achieved 98 % compared to 92 % overall.

To read more go to Deon de Lange’s Mercury article on IOL by Clicking Here!

Advertisements

Motshekga plans to overhaul the school system

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga recently briefed the media in Cape Town on plans the South African government’s human development cluster had to boost the quality of education.  She said her department was looking at rolling out scholar transport to pupils in rural areas and was in talks with the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) and the National Treasury to find ways to increase the amount of funding necessary to build new schools.

She also stressed that the commitment and hard work of teachers and school governing bodies is key to making schools more successful.

Other aspects of the plan includes enrolling all children for Grade R and increasing the number of Grade 12 students who pass matric exams and who qualify for university from 105 000 to 175 00 by 2014.

The Department also plans to increase the number of Grade 12 students who pass maths and science exams from 165 000 to 225 000 by 2014 and to double the number of learners in Grade 3, 6 and 9 in public schools who obtain the minimum acceptable marks.

Agreement has also been reached with with unions to reduce the number of strike hours. The administrative burden of continuous task assessment has been reduced too.

Learning and teaching packs for Grade R teachers, containing lesson plans, learners’ workbooks and story books among other things, has been distributed to all 13 900 schools that offer Grade R.

The Department has also introduced an assessment for grades 3, 6 and 9 in an effort to lay a sold foundation of learning and to measure the success of interventions in literacy and numeracy.

To read more go to the Bua News article on allAfrica.com by Clicking Here!

Minister of Basic Education cracks the whip on Matric results

“The decline in the national matric pass rate of 62.5 % to 60.6 % is marginal but depressing”, the South African Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga recently said after the release of the 2009 matric results. According to her she is disappointed and has sleepless nights because the Department of Basic Education is not where is should be.

The 2009 pass rates for the respective provinces were as follows:

  • Western Cape: 75.7%
  • Gauteng: 71.8 %
  • Free State: 69.4 %
  • Northwest: 67.5 %
  • Northern Cape: 61.3 %
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 61.1 %
  • Eastern Cape: 51 %
  • Limpopo: 48.9 %
  • Mpumalanga: 47.9%

She announced a sectoral blueprint plan that will be developed before the end of March 2010, to ensure a turn around of the education system, and to address ineffective education.

She said urgent steps are needed to improve the quality of education. Schools and teachers need more and better support and training, and better infrastructure and timely delivery of handbooks. Motshekga also suggested direct interventions in schools and the co-opting of experts that can help strenghten systems.

To read the original article written by Alet Rademeyer in Afrikaans in the Beeld Newspaper Click Here!

Education findings ‘devastating’

The findings by a team tasked to investigate the state of education in South Africa have been described by the opposition Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal as “nothing less than devastating”.

The team had found underlying dysfunctionality at rural and township schools, and teachers were spending less time in the classroom and more time on administration. The culture of teaching and learning had disappeared in most rural and township schools.

A culture of learning could only be restored if schools were given greater autonomy in hiring and firing staff, in disciplining pupils and in adapting the curriculum to local needs.

To read the report, click here

Nick Taylor’s paper on what is wrong in South African Education and how to fix it.

Nick Taylor, CEO of JET Education Services, presented a paper on 21 November 2008 to the CSR in Education Conference, TSiBA Education, Cape Town, on “What’s wrong with our schools and how to fix them”.

The paper outlines the three main shortcomings in the system, attempts to understand why these problems are endemic in South African schools, and suggests a way forward in the interests of putting all schools onto a more productive path. 

According to the paper three features of the school system combine to undermine effective teaching and learning: poor time management, insufficient attention to text, and very low levels of teacher subject knowledge. With respect to these three factors our teachers and schools are significantly worse off than those many of our much poorer neighbours in the region.

He went on to explain the importance of each of theses areas in achieving quality education, and to analyse the reasons for the shortcomings, basing his discussion on Durkheim’s forms of social organisation.

He went on to explain the importance of each of theses areas in achieving quality education, and to analyse the reasons for the shortcomings, basing his discussion on Durkheim’s forms of social organisation.

To read a copy of the paper Click 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!

Fixing South African schools a 30 year task

Graeme Bloch, an education specialist at the Development Bank of Southern Africa recently wrote an article in the newspaper, Pretoria News about the dire straight South African schools are in. According to him a  toxic mix of problems keeps South Africa’s schools and educational institutions in a state of disaster, neither able to meet the skills needed in a growing economy nor able to provide jobs opportunities to youths.

In the article he highlights failures in the SA education system and discusses many of the problems South African schools face.

According to the Bloch fixing education will be a 30-year task, which must start now, with urgency.
Everyone should be on board, unified around a vision for a learning nation.  Priorities should be identified, phases for restoration should be stipulated, and a starting point chosen.  The debate around this should not be once-off, but a process.

Bloch further highlights some elements that could help focus such a restoration plan.

– “Teachers. How do we motivate the teachers? With training and clear texts, quality can rise. Through a mixture of encouragement and support – where necessary ‘gently’ holding recalcitrants’ feet to the fire, teachers will be central to the national endeavour. The best of our generations should aspire to teach”.

– “Departments must do their part, especially at provincial level. Fill vacant and ‘acting’ posts, manage properly, deliver on time and at the right place. The focus should be on management and follow through, responsibility and accountability”.

– “Society can rally around to ensure government structures fulfill their tasks”.

– “Corporate social investment spending is increasingly focused in clusters of schools over a consistent and long period across a range of programmes of support”.

– “Many graduates can organise to plough back into schools and help in a systematic way”.

– “Community programmes such as Proudly Manenberg, Tikkun, or efforts like those by the parents of Piet N Aphane High pupils in rural Limpopo, show that schools can be improved at grassroots level”.

– “A huge change in our mindset, accompanied by a massive effort, is needed to improve the quality of education, especially in the poorer schools where the majority of the disadvantaged are”.

To read the Pretoria News Article Click Here!