South African Matric Results 2017
The South Affrican 2017 Matric Results were released this week. With this in mind, I have asked long time teacher and current principal of Regio Centurion Independent Primary School (regio.co.za), Christa Weidemann, to give us some insights into the education system of South Africa.
Christa’s contact details are on Regio’s website, but if you like you can reach her on LinkedIn at – Christa’s LinkedIn Profile
“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think”
So where did it go wrong?
“Teach to the individual, not to the curriculum”
And herein lies the problem! The CAPS (Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements) curriculum in itself is a wonderful baseline to start with, but has changed into the begin all and end all for the Education Department. [For more on the CAPS see these resources: maskewmillerlongman.ning.com; education.gov.za]
Every worksheet has to be completed, every concept has to be taught and every comma, full stop and so on MUST be done, ticked and filed, no matter whether the learner is where they should be or not.
The amount of worksheets and so that have to be completed is mind boggling! In other words, learners become robot like copiers of the work with no or very little understanding and internalising of knowledge.
Gone is the inquisitive, lover of new experiences, to be replaced with a person that trusts and does what he/she is being told! [Please spare a thought for the poor teachers who are really trying to make a difference but who are so overloaded with work and pressure to get all the work prescribed by the curriculum, that they lose their enthusiasm and innovative thinking.]
How do we solve the problem?
Keep the use of electronic devices and games to the minimum, for research has shown that long hours on these devices acts like a drug on impressionable young minds.
Education in Finland
In Finland, which is considered to be have the highest achieving learners in the world,
- Classroom time is much less than is considered the norm in SA;
- Teachers are highly qualified (Masters Graduates in most cases) and also have a lighter workload than their South African counterparts;
- Learners in Finnish schools have 10-20min break between periods/classes. In South Africa learners are in class from 8:00 – 13:00/14:00 with maybe a 20min and 10min break during the whole school day.
- Learners aren’t assessed with written tests all the time as is the norm here in SA.
The top education systems of the world, in no particular order, are considered to be:
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
6 Problems with our School System
Christa shares this video to reinforce the point she is making
Christa finishes off by saying:
We must move away from the emphasis on high academic achievements and focus on the holistic outcome of schooling which is going to deliver a happier and more ‘in tune’ individual with the ability to be a outstanding citizen who will be able to make a positive contribution to society.
To see some see some statistics abouth the education in South Africa visit https://www.southafricanmi.com/education-statistics.html or http://www.statssa.gov.za
See Education in SA: A tale of two systems by Nic Spaull
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