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Officially, our education system is in the bollocks

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Faerie
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« on: June 29, 2011, 13:14:38 PM »

We knew this, but the numbers are still scary.

How we are going to fix this, I honestly dont know:

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Pretoria - Only 12% of Grade 6 pupils scored 50% or more for mathematics in a country-wide assessment test earlier this year


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Among Grade 3 pupils, only 17% scored more than 50% in their numeracy assessment, and 31% scored more than 50% in the literacy test.



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Turning to the assessment of Grade 6 pupils, she said the national average performance in languages was 28%, and for mathematics 30%.



and finally a question - we've got a teacher on the forum (apologies I forgot who) - what on earth does this mean? 

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"The jump from Grade 3 to Grade 4 is [also] made more difficult with the switch to English in Grade 4," she said.


I'm under the impression that rural areas do have access to home-language schooling?  My domestic's kids matriculated in their home language (Venda)?

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Low-numeracy-literacy-at-schools-20110628
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GCG
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2011, 13:46:49 PM »

we give desks to kids in rural areas, and lemme tell you, it's not the education department completely at fault here (but they are a to blame as well).
the teachers cant spell!!!  we get thankyou letters from the SGB's, teachers and headmasters,  and oh my word, the grammar and spelling is out of this world.  how the hell is a kid supposed to have a rat's chance if this is what he is learning?
and people start up schools in the middle of nowhere, and it takes years for the education department to eventually get around to them, give them books, equipment.... it's a joke really.
private schools obviously doesnt take kak from parents or kids, and the job gets done.
public schools, the teachers get paid crap.  they do what they want.  there is nobody keeping them on the job.  they sit around, talking and eating.  and drinking.  and sleeping.  the kids do what they want as well.  how any kid manages to finish school in these schools is a miracle really.
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Faerie
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011, 13:55:21 PM »

Hell, no GCG, I have a yearly intake of matriculants (its time again  Angry) with no working experience from basically all levels of society, and NONE of them can spell.  The only real difference I can distinguish between the private school chappie and the rural one, is that the former is cocky and the latter is extremely humble and wont look you in the eye (but that fades in a matter of months with most of them and you have to slap them back into their age group), so I have to disagree with the private schools really getting the job done as well as they should (unless I'm just getting the rejects anyway, which is a possibility too)
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Tweefo
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2011, 14:19:53 PM »

There are definitely two kinds of private schools. Yes, in the one it is the high standards (expensive) but in the other one - they trade on the name private school but it is as bad as public. These are usually some start up in an industrial area close to a township or squatter camp. The teachers, some or all white, are paid low salaries. I don't know if they are fully qualified, alcoholics or what but they work at these places.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 15:05:03 PM »

This is an economical and societal disaster just waiting to happen.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2011, 15:48:58 PM »

I was thinking about the atrocious state of SA schooling a few days ago when the numeracy/literacy results first came through.  The essential problem is that there is too much bending over backwards to accommodate “cultural differences” which manifests as shambolic-to-non-existent learning discipline, and so everyone is effectively disadvantaged by the system for the sake of political correctness.  This is further aggravated by the outcomes-based education approach that supposedly encourages “working it out for yourself” but in reality just leaves many students without much of a clue because they haven’t been taught certain fundamentals that are indispensable for “working it out for yourself,” including how and where to access and to recognise reliable information.  Lack of such resources is also common.

In mathematics and science particularly, the approach is, by the very nature of those subjects, necessarily rigorous.  There is not much elbow room for creativity in assimilating the basics.  Languages have rules of grammar, spelling and syntax, and these rules must be learnt to the point where they are second nature.  An outcomes-based approach to teaching these subjects is bound to frustrate the teachers and students, and is likely to derail educational progress of all.  I’ve heard these sentiments expressed informally by several teachers.

But perhaps the most important stumbling block is simply that by the time many SA children start school around the age of six, it’s already too late to undo the cultural and psychological baggage that they come burdened with.  The problem is compounded because these kids go back home after school and this baggage is reinforced and perpetuated for their entire schooling.  Everything else being more-or-less equal, a child from a poorly-educated household is less likely to pursue its education with the same enthusiasm as a child from a well-educated household because in the case of the latter, an appreciation for education has been instilled not just by words but also by direct experience and observation.  It’s one thing telling kids how important education is and having them echo this idea without full appreciation of what it entails; it’s quite another demonstrating it by example.  Sadly, a large portion of SA’s schoolgoers fall into the first class where lip service is the order of the day.

'Luthon64
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Brian
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2011, 17:44:00 PM »

There are numerous studies locally as well as in so-called 'developed' countries where the output from the school system is very poor: e.g. in the US graduates from High School are unable to find a tel no in a tel directory or read a map; spelling is poor etc...however their physics, math etc is good. The UK has its own problems as well.
Over the years SA academics and educationists as well as parents have been at pains to warn the authorities about the so-called democratization of education which inter alia called for dis-empowering teachers (discipline NOT); accommodating multiculturalism; lowering of standards which accept something like 33% as a pass and noises have been made that no exams should be set as it discriminates! FFS!  Then they went ahead and retrenched many teachers with massive experience and as GCG says pay the rest kak and ultimately lowered delivery to the lowest common denominator (Blade fucking Nzimande is considering taking over the elitist private schools as they are, in his opinion, exacerbating class distinctions). Teacher training colleges were closed down and/or merged with universities and lost their specialist focus while many teachers are grossly unqualified to teach anything let alone subjects they themselves don't understand.
In KZN alone there is a shortage of some 1 million school desks (GCG's Lapdesks are focused on these), let alone classrooms, toilets, electricity in a large number of rural schools, etc etc: I researched this some twenty years ago so my figures are now out of date (I was inter alia responsible for raising funds through donations and built 876 classrooms in rural areas). In some schools one teacher is required to teach up to 60 kids of different ages, with not even a blackboard, let alone books, electronic aids etc: is it surprising then that these poor results were attained?
As BM says it's a disaster waiting to happen...no wait it has already happened! thousands are pouring out of the system onto our streets every year (check out the drop out rates as well!), unemployable, frustrated, angry and are going to hit out sooner or later.
I can carry on about this for a long time but I think you get the pikchure!
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Mefiante
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 18:15:29 PM »

My point, though, is that it’s easy to blame the sad state of education on the authorities for not supplying sufficient infrastructure and resources, forgetting the factors that encumber the pupils (or “lennahs” as they are called nowadays), which factors may be innate or acquired before they attend school.  (I’m not denying that insufficient infrastructure and resources is a problem, only that it’s not the only big one.)  There’s a general delusion afoot that you can train anyone academically to do anything someone else can.  This is total rot and we have no problem acknowledging the fact in sport:  Person A is good at cricket but will never be a good tennis player, while the opposite holds for person B.  Why do we then stupidly assume that with the right education any person can master any career if they put their mind to it — so much so that we tell this fable to our children!?

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 18:18:43 PM »

Because you can't start a rampage about being equal by saying we're all different.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 20:02:03 PM »

May I cite myself?  “… everyone is effectively disadvantaged by the system for the sake of political correctness.”

In any case, the equality is before the eyes of the state and those of the law.  There’s no mandate or imperative that pronounces all humans equal in all respects.

'Luthon64
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Brian
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 10:00:31 AM »

When I did my Masters, I was severely castigated for daring to say that :"People are NOT born equal; they are genetically different, born in different circumstances and have different environments that they grow up in: BUT they have equal rights (not even equal opportunity)". This totally flew in the face of socialist dogma and totalitarians who reject the notion of individual differences, hence Mefiante I fully agree with your statements:
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There’s a general delusion afoot that you can train anyone academically to do anything someone else can.
and
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There’s no mandate or imperative that pronounces all humans equal in all respects.
It's mind boggling that these statists cannot see the difference!
 
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Mefiante
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2011, 12:44:14 PM »

It’s probably true that this lamentable state of affairs is the product of vociferous soapbox proselytising of the socialist ethic by largely self-appointed political-correctness Nazis with nothing better to occupy themselves with.  There’s a palpable and peculiar disconnect between, on the one hand, the pressure towards uniformitarianism inherent in strict regulation of education (among several other social enterprises), and, on the other, the repeated exhortations to “celebrate diversity” heard from many quarters.  Typically, this cognitive dissonance fails to get even a fraction of the attention it should merit.  In that respect, the practice of social politics is like a religion.

'Luthon64
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Faerie
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2011, 11:16:12 AM »

Say WUT??

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Exam question leaves young restless
2011-11-22 10:32
 
Johannesburg - A question on television soap opera characters that appeared in a Grade 9 exam has sparked an investigation by the department of basic education, The Star newspaper reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, a question in the Grade 9 Common Task Assessment arts and culture exam asked pupils to "name two soapies that you enjoy watching and name three characters from each".

The question was worth eight marks.

An irate mother has accused the department of discrimination, against children without access to television.

The department said it was looking into the matter and that the question was an oversight.

Ministry spokesperson Hope Mokgatlhe said the matter was brought to Education Minister Angie Motshekga's attention.

"Our curriculum and examinations [units] are currently looking into it," Mokgatlhe said.

In cases where it was found that an exam question has disadvantaged pupils through no fault of their own, their marks would be adjusted, she said.

- SAPA

This is probably due to some Grade 9 teacher having to make up a question worth 8 points to the total. What is more scary, is that my son during his matric prelims had a question in his theory IT exam what the film about facebook recently released was called.  That one was a government set exam.
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GCG
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2011, 11:37:34 AM »

wtf does your tv and movie choices have to do with shit you have to study?  that is truly bollocks.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2011, 11:59:21 AM »

Stunning.  So now asinine dreck like Days of Our Lives, Rhythm City, The Bold and the Beautiful, Scandal, etc. are “art and culture” in the view of our Education Department!?  The only culture I see there is the fungal brain rot any viewer will get from watching too much of this meritless fluff.

And as a possibly aspiring IT professional, it’s critical to know the title of a film about an IT phenomenon!?

These are awfully low points even by our Education Department’s already-abysmal standards.  What about kids who have access to the facilities but don’t watch TV or films, either by choice or because their parents have imposed restrictions?

If you told a foreigner about these things, they’d probably think you were kidding.  What an embarrassing disgrace.

'Luthon64
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