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Research endorses mother-tongue education

Internatonal research, including research done in Africa, continues to endorse the view that mother-tongue education is the way to go.

Language experts blame at least some of South Africa’s poor educational results, and its poor showing in international tests of reading and maths ability, on a lack of mother-tongue education, especially in primary school.

To read the rest of Sue Blaine’s article in Business Day on allAfrica.com Click Here!


“Literacy, maths shocker in SA”

“Most primary school pupils in South Africa are failing tests for basic language and mathematics skills. ‘Poor national averages for language and mathematics in grades three and six show that most learners do not acquire the skills and understanding that give substance to the right to education’,  said the Children’s Institute (Cape Town) in a statement.”

Click here to read more as reported by News24

Click here for the Children’s Institute’s Report:  SA Child Gauge  2008/2009

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!

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