A study by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation revealed that when given simple maths and English tests:

  • 5 of 22 primary school teachers were able to identify the main idea in a simple paragraph.
  • 6 of 22 were able to do a simple calculation in maths.
  • Teachers scored as low as 10% for English first additional language and 5% for maths.

“At least 18% of teachers were not in class during the days when schools were visited by two researchers,” stated the report. Education expert Jaco Deacon said the problem was due to poor leadership at schools.

Read more in MyBroadband


Tags: Maths and Science School Leadership teacher support

Speaking to Eusebius McKaiser, Pandor says the growing unemployment statistic is something to be concerned about, however, she says those with university education tend to be the ones who find employment above those who are unskilled.

We have not succeeded in convincing the South African population that the root to critical skills and to entrepreneurship and employment opportunity is the technical and vocational sector. — Naledi Pandor, Minister of Higher Education

Minister Pandor says the timing of the free higher education announcement by former president, Jacob Zuma was a surprise, though it had been deliberated on during the Heher Commission. “I don't agree that funding has been taken away from early childhood development or the provision of infrastructure within the basic education sector.”

Listen to the interview on Cape Talk

Tags: Higher Education

“We are 52 students in one container”

More than 150 learners from Philippi High School marched to Parliament on Tuesday to voice their concerns over conditions at their school and a shortage of teachers.

“We are 52 students in one container [classroom]. The situation is making it difficult for us to learn,” said Grade 10 student Thembaka Silarwa.

“We want to learn but we want to learn in an environment that is good. Those containers are hot when it’s hot and they can be very cold in winter,” she said. “When we have to write exams we write outside, and they have to hire a hall for matric students.”

Learners have been complaining about the school since 2015 when police fired stun grenades at them for protesting over the lack of infrastructure.

Read more in GroundUp

Tags: School Infrastructure

The government ought to be investing more in early childhood development instead of fee-free higher education, according to the CEO of the DG Murray Trust (DMT), Dr David Harrison. Harrison says the R57 billion may be wasted on many tertiary students who drop out in their first year and says fee-free tertiary education will not address the root of many learning challenges. He believes that government should adopt a bottom up approach and invest in early childhood education to improve the throughput rate at universities.

Listen to the interview on Cape Talk

Tags: Early Childhood Education Higher Education

Education budget a contradiction says Stats SA

The education of South Africa’s youth was touted as one of the top three national priorities in former finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s 2018 budget speech. An amount of R57 billion was set aside towards this initiative, however, without a solid early childhood development strategy the government would be building on unstable ground.

This was the takeaway from a thematic report on early education titled: Early Childhood Development in South Africa for 2016, delivered by the Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke on Tuesday.

This was the takeaway from a thematic report on early education titled: Early Childhood Development in South Africa for 2016, delivered by the Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke on Tuesday. In his report, Risenga echoed the sentiments of President Cyril Ramaphosa who, in his inaugural state of the nation address, said: “If we are to break the cycle of poverty, we need to educate the children of the poor.”

Read more in City Press

Tags: Early Childhood Education Higher Education

The PIRLS 2016 literacy tests on nearly 13,000 South African schoolchildren  showed that 78 percent of grade four children cannot read for meaning in any language. South Africa scored lowest of the 50 countries tested. Another study had found that 27 percent of children under five suffer from stunting, and that their brains are not developing as they should. Damage like this is largely irreversible. It leads to low school achievement and work productivity – and so to ongoing poverty.

Read more in the Huffington Post

Tags: Literacy

Call for homework to fall

South African schools are latching on to a new wave of thinking in schools that sees the eradication of homework, much to the relief of many pupils and their often-stressed and frazzled parents.

The policy is based on the Finland Phenomenon, which takes a fresh look at the way pupils are taught and how the overall school system is managed.

The Sun Valley Group of schools, based in Cape Town, has adopted the policy. Principal John Keller is due to address a KwaZulu-Natal primary school on how the programme can work for their pupils.

Read more in The Daily News

What SA needs is for the wealthy to fork out

Last week Ramaphosa told a dinner in Davos: “Each one of us must contribute to ensure that we have a shared future in this fractured world. So‚ we are all called upon — citizens of South Africa — and as contributors of either capital or technology‚ to get South Africa to work together to have this shared future. Can we all agree that we are going to have a shared future — a shared future that is based on a shared vision?”

We cannot have a shared future if 27% of our people are unemployed and thousands of children are receiving sub-par education. Is it perhaps time for a once-off tax on the wealthy‚ all the wealthy and high-earning‚ black and white‚ that goes into a reconstruction and development programme? This kitty would be for targeted implementation of infrastructure and education improvements as envisaged in the National Development Plan.

Read more in Sowetan Live

Many young students and professionals from across the world come to South Africa to take advantage of relatively low university fees, allowing them to upgrade their qualifications at world-renowned universities. However, when their student visas expire, the South African government makes no attempt to retain this highly educated pool of talent. 

These students gratefully accept jobs in developed countries where their skills are valued, and South Africa loses these trained individuals forever.

Read more in News24

Even the ANC’s own Minister for Women, Susan Shabangu, has publicly stated that schools have become “high-risk” spaces for learners, and the current Basic Education Laws Amendment (Bela) Bill makes no attempt whatsoever to address violence, bullying, sexual abuse and illegal corporal punishment by teachers. Michael Kwet from Yale Law School Privacy Lab has just blown the whistle on a whole new hazard: significant details of Operation Phakisa for Education (OPE), initiated by President Zuma, have been kept secret.

Apparently, sending your child to school could mean selling out your child's privacy, their most intimate personal data and detailed personality information - far beyond what Google tracks - right through their school years all the way into adulthood, maybe even for life.

Read more in IOL

Tags: School Safety

In this clip, Mary Metcalfe explains that in order to move forward, we need to hear each other and understand the various perspectives that are informing conflict and must also inform resolution.

She says that the current generation of students are asking fundamentally different questions than the generation that went before them. They realise that, despite our bill of rights, constitution and expanded education systems, the poor are still excluded and too many people are not accessing university.  Society needs to recognise this loss of potential. 

We need to encourage disciplined debate and need to see through the anger to get to the substance beneath.

We will only find solutions if there is sufficient common cause to unite.

Watch the clip via Project Rise

Tags: Education

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