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33.3% - a pass?

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2013, 09:39:41 AM »

I was at a house a while back where the kids were making fun of the school syllabus.

One kid, a smart one since early childhood who is dreadfully bored of school, was showing me their "textbook" (BIG air quotes) and pointing out all the inaccuracies and ridiculous Q/A's. At one point he said that in maths there is a "word" question about flights of stairs and how many stairs you had to walk total.... (something like that)... He explained that one of the answers they had to accept was "All of them". I was shocked.

But what shocked me more, and I reprimanded the boys slightly, was their attitude that this was all a joke. I gave them a stern talk about not letting this set their standard for them, LEARN MORE than what the book tells, this shit is actually important!.... You know... "you'll thank me when you hit varsity" kindof stuff they'll probably ignore. The parents also seemed apathetically resigned to the whole thing. "Oh well".

This maddens me no end.
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beLIEf
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atheistinafrica
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2013, 10:23:55 AM »

Yes although textbooks have improved a lot - for those that get them that is - the editing and compilation process is still not to standard. I'm involved with an online project compiling errors and feeding back to publishers. They are very open for improvement and so are the writers - there are huge glaring errors in some and this is apparently despite a rigorous process and largely due to times pressures for publishing - no excuse.

The other problem is often the writers might have a pHd in some branch of their subject field where they are highly specialized- let's say in my case for Geography -a Climatologist - but in terms of writing accessible material for a 16 year old and constructing questions and activities then they are very mismatched for the job.

For unqualified and non-subject specialist teachers the problem is that they probably won't pick up on the errors and then the misinformation will be taught and learned.

With each solution there are new problems at every turn it seems....
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beLIEf
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atheistinafrica
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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2013, 12:08:37 PM »

Attached is very interesting reading... "Taking the shine off the School story" From SA Institute of Race Relations
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« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2013, 13:38:44 PM »

Attached is very interesting reading... "Taking the shine off the School story" From SA Institute of Race Relations
The above link states the requirements for NSC as:
Quote
The minimum requirements are that a candidate ‘achieves’ 40% in three subjects,
one of which is their home language and 30% in three other subjects
.
Concluding that an educational system promotes mediocrity on the basis of percentages required for a pass would not necessarily be a valid argument.  One would have to assess syllabus content and the level at which the examination paper is pitched as well.  The proof of the pudding lies in the level of literacy and numeracy that the schools produce and in the number of students achieving adequate knowledge to enter the job market or tertiary education.  Here our education system fails badly.
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beLIEf
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atheistinafrica
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« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2013, 13:52:00 PM »

Yes totally agree - it says enough that universities do not count matric as enough to enter and learners also have to complete entrance exams. It shows higher education has no faith in the standard of secondary education.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2013, 14:09:22 PM »

When I went to varsity I did do one test for entrance, that was under the "old system". Back then my degree also took 3 years, it has since become minimum 4 years and a bevy of tests for every required subject to make it in, and after that a load of "bridging courses" that are compulsory for candidates who don't pass a second round of tests. This takes the total time of the course up to 5 years for some. 5 years! To do what I had to in 3! Atrocious! I finished a post-grad quicker than today's kids can graduate, and I imagine that drains a lot of money and potential workers out of the economy.... All through no fault of their own.

I also imagine this lessens the number of people who would even contemplate a post-grad, seeing as they/their parents will be financially bleeding by then.
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