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Shocking results from the Annual National Assessments written in 2011

In February last year 9 million pupils from grades 2 to 10 across all nine provinces of South Africa sat for the Annual National  Assessments, tests that gauged their ability to write, read and count.

The results were dismal.

The overall average score was 30 percent, with even lower results in maths and languages across all grades.

A qualitative analysis of the results showed the following:

  • Pupils in grades 1 to 3 performed better, but scores were much lower from grades 4 to 6
  • 21 % of the Grade 3s showed competence in comprehension, that is the ability to understand written text
  • 25 % of Grade 3s showed competence to apply basic numeracy skills to solve everyday problems
  • 49% of the Grade 4s could comprehend what they were reading
  • 8 % of the Grade 4s could change sentences given in past tense to present tense (language usage)
  • 20 % of Grade 5s could correctly convert sentences in the past to the present tense (language usage)
  • 12 % of Grade 4s could respond to simple questions about a story and give reasons that support their answer (thinking and reasoning)
  • 11 % of Grade 5s could answer simple questions and respond to emotions from a story (thinking and reasoning)
  • 23 % of Grade 6s could understand what was happening in the story they were reading (reading and viewing)
  • 5 % were able to write an introduction and conclusion when writing a text
  • the percentage of Grade 6s competent in patterns, functions and algebra ranged from 9 to 45 percent (mathematics)

To read more go to Nontobeko Mtshali’s article on IOL News, by Clicking Here!

To go to the Report on qualitative analysis of ANA 2011 results Click Here! 

 

South African schools fared poorly in WEF Report

South African primary schools were placed 132th out of 144 countries with regard to quality teaching, and 115th with regard to access by children to these schools. This is the findings of the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2012/2013.

A positive point however was that South Africa’s Higher Education and Training sector as a whole was placed at 84th position. This could be because South Africa has a number of world-class universties, according to Graeme Bloch, an independent Education expert.

With regards to the quality of mathematics and science education South Africa was placed second last.

Countries with the best primary education according to the report is Belgium, Finland, New Zealand, Singapore, Netherlands, Iceland and Canada.

To read more go to Alet Rademeyer’s article in the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld by Clicking Here!

To read the WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2012/2013, Click Here!

South African research output rises

A recent analysis of South Africa’s scientific performance shows that research outputs rose between 2000 and 2010. During this period South Africa also more than doubled its publication numbers, improved its international publications ranking by two positions, and was ranked 33rd in the world.

These results came from a research paper published by Prof Anastassios Pouris, director of the Intsitute for Technological Innovation at the University of Pretoria, in the South African Journal of Science.

The paper, titled, Science in South Africa: the dawn of a new renaissance? shows an increase in paper publications from 3617 in 2000 to 7468 in 2010.

To read more go to Wilma den Hartigh’s article on BIZCommunity.com by clicking here!

To read more go to Charl Blignaut’s article in City Press by Clicking here!

To read Prof Anastassios Pouris’ paper Click Here!

South Africa’s FET colleges receives R2.5 billion boost

South Africa’s 50 further education and training colleges (FET) recently received their share of the R2.5 billion which have been earmarked for the expansion of the FET sector to help in skills development in the key growth sectors of the South African economy. A further R1.5 billion will be made available for infrastructure improvement of the colleges.

To read more go to Megan Wait’s article in Creamer Media’s Engineering News by Clicking Here!

Education in crisis – FW de Klerk Foundation

Education in South Africa is in serious traouble, the FW de Klerk foundation said recently.

“Poor education lies at the root of most of South Africa’s problems, including unemployment, poverty and inequality”, it said in a statement.

The recent Limpopo textbook scandal was simply a sympton of much wider malaise. The crisis was also not because of a lack of resources. In 2011 the country spent 6 % of its gross domestic product on education.

The education system is failing to achieve basic standards of literacy and numeracy in grades three and six. This can be seen in the ranking of South Africa’s education system by the World Economic Forum as 133rd out of 142 countries.

To read more go to the SAPA article on News24 by Clicking Here!

Education crisis ‘not Verwoerd’s fault’ – Mamphela Ramphele

The ‘monumental failure’ in South African education was not Hendrik Verwoerd’s fault, but that of the current South African government, former anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele recently said at the Educational Management Association Conference, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. This is in contrast to a statement made by President Jacob Zuma in which he blamed Verwoerd for the mess in South African schools. Ramphele said children under apartheid’s “gutter” education were better educated than today.

“By jove, at least the kids could write and read. And many of them understood history and understood geography”, she said.

To read more got to Leanne Jansen’s article in The Mercury on IOL News by Clicking Here!

or to read more go to Anne Sewell’s article in the Digital Journal by Clicking Here! 

South Africa loses increasing numbers of teachers via emigration

In a recent presentation titled “South African teacher migration: an issue of political debate“, Rian de Villiers from the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria indicated that South Africa loses approximately 4000 teachers each year to emigration. This means that new teachers will have to be aggresively recruited and produced to curb the decline in numbers of teachers.

De Villiers showed that teachers loss in South Africa was due to attrition, career change and massive recruitment by foreign countries.

Factors which seem to be pushing teachers out of SA were:

  • Career dissatisfaction
  • Low salaries
  • Unemployment

Factors attracting teachers to other countries include:

  • Higher salaries
  • Professional development
  • Travel opportunities
  • Friends and family overseas
  • Recruitment agency persuasion.

Possible solutions given by De Villiers include:

  • Recruiting retired and unemployed subject experts
  • Having a compulsory one-year internship after graduation
  • Making more bursary schemes available for prospective student teachers
  • Monitoring teacher recruitment agencies closely
  • Introducing international relocation grants
  • Eliminating negative perceptions about the teaching profession
  • Improving teachers’ work conditions

To read more:

Go to Michelle Jones’ article in the Star Newspaper by Clicking Here!   

Go to Michelle Jones and Leanne Jansen’s article in The Mercury by Clicking Here! 

To access Rian De Villiers’ presentation Click Here!