Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SA gets dumb and dumberer

Hat Tip: Anon:

Read this article and then just imagine what the state of education is going to be five years into the future, after our honourable minister of Higher Education, Doctor Blade Nzimande is finished with it. Hell, he has not even read this report yet. He does not even know about it. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Varsity students can’t read

THE shocking state of South Africa’s education system was laid bare in Parliament yesterday.

Most of the country’s first-year university students cannot read, write and comprehend, according to a report presented by education management body Higher Education SA to the portfolio committee on higher education.

The education body chairman, Theuns Eloff, told the committee the outcomes based curriculum has failed to produce competent pupils.

Eloff said: “As university managers we are concerned that the ability of learners from high school to read, comprehend and write is declining … and they are bad spellers.”

He said universities that conducted competency tests in English and Afrikaans — the dominant languages of instruction — have reported a decline in standards.

Among the universities that participated in the study were Pretoria, Free State, North West and Rhodes.

Eloff told The Times: “One may say we must do the tests in indigenous languages, but we have always done it in the two languages for black students in the past as well and the outcome was a higher level of understanding then.

“One of the unintended consequences of the OBE [outcomes based education] is that we stopped having comprehension tests and reading and spelling.

“You don’t learn to spell and comprehend, and that is nonsense.”

Eloff’s remarks come hard on the heels of a recent report, compiled by a panel of educationists led by University of the Free State vice chancellor Jonathan Jansen, which concluded that the country’s schooling system was “dysfunctional”.

The panel reported that there was “confusion” among teachers about outcomes based education.

Professor George Euvrard, Dean of Education at Rhodes University, said he has noted with concern the competence levels of students arriving at varsity, and has found that many are “significantly unprepared”.

Euvrard said: “It’s asking an enormous amount of lecturers. They are prepared to teach at a certain level and when they deal with students who [don’t have basic skills] it can be quite frustrating.”

He said the problems experienced by universities with first-year students was an indication of the need for the education department to go back to the drawing board.

“I agree there is a lower standard and students are less prepared. It probably suggests it [OBE] needs to be reworked,” he said.

Euvrard said universities are having to extend their teaching programmes to ensure that students reach the standard required for entry into the work force.

“We spend time making up for the deficits,” he said.

DA MP Wilmot James said university resources are being used to deal with under-prepared students and the result is that those resources are being diverted from where they should be.

James, a former University of Cape Town academic, said: “If we had a system where students in universities are qualified to be there in terms of skills and expertise, we would have a much better university system.”

Eloff said the problem was compounded by the belief that the country’s further education and training colleges are inferior. This, he said, has resulted in universities being flooded by students who otherwise would be in these colleges.

He said academic staff in most universities can no longer cope with the increasing numbers.

“So we have serious understaffing in some subjects. By and large we have too few staff members to cope, and this is aggravated by the fact that we now have more students who need more attention, and we are struggling,” Eloff said.

In an apparent contradiction of recent calls for the broadening of access to higher education for the poor by Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, Eloff said some universities were considering capping student numbers to improve the quality of teaching.

The growing numbers of students have made this impossible for lecturers, many of whom are expected to publish scholarly articles in areas of their expertise.

Higher Education SA’s figures show that student enrolment has been growing by 6.6% a year 1995, resulting in a current student population of about 800,000.

Eloff said the decline in university funding has hampered universities’ ability to address shortages of staff.

Nzimande last night declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the report.

13 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

It's becoming more and more difficult for whites to rent business premises. You have to bring along one or more of these educated people as a BEE partner.

Anonymous said...

There used to be a minimum standard set for university admittance. What happened to that?

Anonymous said...

@Dobe: The pass mark is calculated according to how many "learners" the department of dumbed-down education wants to "pass".

The universities have been steadily dumbed down over the last ten years or so as well. It's much easier to get a "distinction" in any subject at a SA university than it used to be. So a university pass means next to nothing.

We are looking at a seriously dumbed down population, at all levels. Dictatorships don't like smart arses who can reason and come to their own conclusions. Comprehension tests had to fall by the wayside.

Anonymous said...

Next you have engineers who cant do basic math. The country is going down faster by the day!

Black Coffee said...

Like I asked Doberman in an email, how can this be that first-year students lack literacy skills? There I was for 6 months attached to Wits University, but had no idea of what this article brings up. I have to ask then what has ANC government been doing for past 15 years to improve education? Where is the better for life for all that Mandela promised in 1993 and '94?

Anonymous said...

BC the equal life for all is much like Animal Farm. Some are more equal than others.

Don't worry the ANC will create 500,000 new jobs before tomorrow tea time. Some people are just suckers!

Anonymous said...

If this is the standard of a person with Matric with a university entrance - just think of the quality of those who failed Matric!

Stateside Expat said...

Within the next week the govt and ANCYL with declare that the report is obviously racist, that universities have not engaged in transformation enough, and that this is a neo-apartheid plot to prevent the black man from acquiring edukashun!

Stateside Expat said...

also, I remember when my father was getting a job here so we could move to the States, it was determined that his senior year of high school (matric) was the equivalent to an American College student after their first year.

That was a decade ago. How things have changed since then.

Exzanian said...

I decided not to cry, but to laugh instead...I love the way the report ends "Nzimande declined to comment" as if it is his right to do so. Har-de-haaaar!!!! Minister of Higher Education! Har-de-farkin-haaaaar! Snorting-me-beer-out-me nose HAAARRRRR!!!!!!!

FishEagle said...

Oh shame, Exzanian!!

Anonymous said...

@ Dachs...

Form a cc that has little or no turnover. Get your accountant and SARS to verify that the turnover is less than 5M p.a. That qualifies as BEE in the framework under exempt micro-businesses (100% claim rates). As you meet BEE requirements as specified in the Act they have to give you the lease. On lease to your "real" company, or just outsource the work to them to be done on the premises for a small premium stashed away offshore somewhere via another little company.

Build a tangled trail that is hard to follow, but will get your attention when they start sniffing. Invoice each other to move cash around or offshore, double book, whatever. etc.etc.etc.

I have a stash of these little companies that I use all the time for various nefarious purposes. One is completely black owned... hee, hee, hee!!! Although I am still the major single shareholder. It is also useful to set up shells... for evading certain legal requirements... etc.
There are a million creative uses for these things and they don't cost a lot. The big thing is getting the fake ID to set up some real revenue robbing gems.

Useless fucks come up with useless laws. A bit of good old white ingenuity and you've weaseled your way around them in a flash. I know I sound like a complete crook, but I've reached the stage where this regime is NOT ENTITLED TO ONE SINGLE CENT OF MY INCOME due to it's complete disregard for me, my rights, or my fellow whites. FUCKEMALL. When they produce the goods, I will pay the TAXES. Until then...

I will soon be declaring myself a subsistence farmer so I no longer have to pay rates and taxes... hee, hee, hee. Work the system buggers. There is a lot you can do to screw these bastards. Grow your own food and fuel. Currently half my fuel is ethanol as gasoline replacement from sugar beets. Costs half of petrol and i pay no road levy, fuel tax etc. I grow 70% of my food. Soon to be ALL. In two years I will be BUYING NOTHING. The only tax this government will get from me is for medical expenses, but I'm thinking of moving that offshore too, just to fuck them all over at another level. Oh yes - tyres and spare parts... How do you get around that?

Be creative.
Get independent.
Trust only what you and yours can do.


Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:47 PM: Thanks for all that great advice. I've taken our money (husband's money = mine too) offshore in a tax structure that SARS gets not one cent off. Feck'em.