In most countries, such noble reforms would have improved the quality and equality of education and would have borne tangible fruits. The Human Sciences Research Council has actually come to the conclusion that the quality of education and learning in South Africa fares severely in comparison thereupon of various other poorer countries. The results show that 27% of our pupils who have attended school for six years cannot read, compared with 4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe. Consequently, their learners do very poorly and teaching is perceived as a low status career. These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. How to improve education quality in South Asia. This clearly shows that South Africa is not getting the expected rate of return on its investment in education. Set against data that shows education to be “the primary indicator that determines the living standards trajectory of a young South African”, three key deficiencies are of particular concern, writes Cronje. Inequalities in education quality also constrain the ability of many pupils to access and complete university education, thus preventing them from participating meaningfully in the labour market. Education is a robust predictor of labour market outcomes in terms of employment and earnings, and thus is a key determinant of economic growth. Various international studies attest to the poor quality of our education system. 2. Review of international literature While there is a general consensus that investment in human capital is good both for growth Initial teacher education is highly variable but generally insufficient. As a result, their learners perform well and the school system enjoys a high level of public esteem. The quality and professionalism of the teachers nurtures the next generation of high-quality teacher trainees. Standards are used to manage teachers, and to protect students from the worst educators through supervisory surveillance and control. However, many nations fall behind in having an education system that supports children with disabilities or those who come from poorer backgrounds. Search for author on Twitter, Death and anxiety rife at matric marking centres as schools reopening delayed, Wanuri Kahiu, the Kenyan film director taking on the world, Published contracts are a powerful antidote to corruption, How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company, What the Biden presidency may mean for Africa, Disinformation harms health and democracy. Education should provide a way out of the poverty trap, but the ability of the South African education system to act as a reliable conduit for children out of poverty has been limited. There are various reasons for this, but the chief one is the dual education system. The latest results available, from the National School Effectiveness Study, which tests numeracy and literacy, show that South Africa’s mean scores for literacy in grade three and grade four were 19% and 27% respectively. The education system thus reinforces social and income inequality. – Gareth van Zyl. Take a read through this brilliant article below by an Oxford researcher which focuses on the state of teaching in SA and what can be done to improve it. Does this mean that South African teachers are damned to the stick, rather than the carrot? This, in turn, produces high quality teachers who improve learner outcomes. In most countries, quality education offered to rich and poor alike results in increased social mobility; this is unfortunately not the case in South Africa. Numerous suggestions have been floated. ... South Africa– Blue Sky Publications (Pty) Ltd T/A TheSouthAfrican Number: 2005/028472/07. We need engineers, electricians, plumbers, doctors, teachers and many other professionals to build our country’s economy. Over one-fifth of children between … These are their own views. Research into the value of teacher standards for South Africa warns that this approach could serve to de-professionalise the country’s teaching force if not approached carefully. Cas Prinsloo, the chief research specialist at the education and learning research group, claimed that fads in global and nationwide pupil efficiency showed … The quality of education for most black children is poor. While standards which professionalise create cultures of collegiality, expertise and pride among teachers, standards that manage can leave them feeling brow-beaten, untrusted, and demotivated. There remains a significant gap in education standards between rich and poor communities. Enhancing the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of resource use across the education system; Increasing the managerial, administrative and technical capacity of the national and provincial bureaucracies; Increasing teacher content knowledge and teaching skills; Introducing entrepreneurship learning within the education system; and. This has been identified as a cause of the poor quality of South African education. 2. incre… Indeed, South Africa did realise a rapid expansion of education, including increased enrolment, but the quality of education has remained poor and largely characterised by inequality. Not necessarily. SA’s alternate education universes – a teacher’s inside view. This casts doubt on the ability of the South … Since 1994, South Africa has made great strides in realising the right to education, rapidly building an efficient, accessible and quality education system for children and adolescents. Quality of Education in South Africa. There are standards that professionalise teaching and standards that simply manage teachers. The South African education system can be characterised as having two schooling systems — one for the minority wealthy segment of the population, which is functional and equips pupils with necessary skills, and another for the majority poor population, which is dysfunctional and ill-equipped to provide pupils with the knowledge they should be acquiring at school. The basic premise of teacher standards is that if you expect more from teachers, don’t allow them into the classroom until they’ve met a basic set of criteria, and hold them to account if they fall short, then the quality of teachers will improve. Everything from investing like Warren Buffett to the Audiobiography of Cyril Ramaphosa. Therefore, good-quality basic education is one of the non-negotiables, as higher or tertiary education needs sound primary and secondary education to build on. Material may not be published or reproduced in any form without prior written permission. Counting was slow across Uganda as a result of the internet shutdown, which affected some of the biometric machines used to validate voter registrations. While access to education has been universally granted to each child in South Africa, the quality of the education has not been guaranteed, particularly for black children. The vicious cycle repeats itself. And as this international expert outlines below, our system in SA is completely hamstrung by the quality of teachers on board. The country’s poor education system also results in inequalities in the returns on skills, unemployment, low labour productivity and low labour income in the self-employed informal sector… We will continue to invest in education and skills development as that is the key to economic growth and development, President Jacob Zuma said in his State of the Nation Address of June 2014. There are wide-ranging policy options with which the government could improve the education system. In vicious schooling cycles governments take it upon themselves to hold teachers accountable. Unsurprisingly then, research on newly qualified teachers indicates that students enter their studies with very poor skills, and leave with little more. Half of all South African pupils who attended school for five years can’t do basic calculations. Rather, the problem is the tragically poor quality of South Africa’s teachers. All material © Mail & Guardian Online. This allows for competitive entry requirements for teacher education programmes, which in turn allows for rigorous and challenging courses. Girls are also at a disadvantage in attaining quality education because of the patriarchal nature of … The country’s poor education system also results in inequalities in the returns on skills, unemployment, low labour productivity and low labour income in the self-employed informal sector. Eskom: Energy expert warns of electricity catastrophe in SA, Herman Mashaba: Finding jobs for thousands of…, South Africans have a constitutional right to take…, SASSA beneficiaries water blasted while Lindiwe Zulu…. When this happens, teacher morale drops. They include: Thando Ngozo and Sabelo Mtantato are researchers at the Financial and Fiscal Commission. After 12 years of schooling, many can’t find jobs. please consider taking out a subscription, Biography coming soon. THE RECENTLY released World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2014 on South Africa’s education crisis raises serious concerns of threats to … JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Since 1989, UNICEF has recognized the right of every child to equal and quality education. While there is no magic bullet to fix the quality of education in South Asia, the report identifies a few key strategic priorities. Despite increased education spending and enrollment levels, South Africa continues to be considered one of the worst education systems in the world. In the South African context, teacher standards are a response to a lack of teacher accountability. A comparison with other developing countries brings little joy. Higher Education in South Africa, on the other hand, has seen heavy investment and now competes on the world stage. Read also: Here’s how CEOs and school principals can fix SA education For instance, South Africa has the worst education system of all middle-income countries that participate in cross-national assessments of educational achievement. South Africa spends more than 6% of GDP on education, which is higher than the OECD average of 4.5%, and schools in poor areas get more government money than schools in richer areas. © 2021 BizNews, Inc. | The Rational PerspectiveTerms & ConditionsComments Policy. The harder issue, which arises in the international milieu and in South Africa too, is the centrality of improving the quality of education. Teachers instead enjoy professional autonomy; they are trusted in key decisions about their teaching and professional development. In the South African context, teacher standards are a response to a lack of teacher accountability. The end of school is therefore the beginning of higher education. Educational inequalities in South Sudan can be attributed to a number of factors. Compare this to South Africa, which has a vicious schooling cycle. These can be broadly defined as a set of common standards that include the professional knowledge, skills and conduct that characterise good teaching. 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And in turn, poor quality education in rural areas will only continue to perpetuate long-term poverty in the region. These include inefficiencies and the quality of teachers (knowledge content), among others. There are also certain traditional cultural ideas about women which make it more difficult for girls to get an education than their male counterparts. Teacher education programmes are therefore in general unable to reliably attract high quality graduates, and so tend to be less demanding. Of the 15 education systems that participated in the study, South Africa has the third highest proportion of functionally illiterate learners (27%), and the fifth highest proportion of functionally innumerate learners (40%). The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017, South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12, The new US administration has an interest and much expertise in Africa. This, in turn, alienates the best school graduates who frankly have better career options. This is because there are effectively two types of teacher standards, and it’s important not to conflate the two. The existence of extreme inequality two decades after the demise of apartheid is a strong indictment of the education system’s inability to surmount historic prejudices, in spite of substantial reforms in the governance and funding of poor schools. Unequal educational attainment is evident in the labour market because the large unemployment burden is disproportionately carried by young people. 11 February 2020, 17:13 UTC. It is widely accepted that most of Africa’s education and training programs suffer from low-quality teaching and learning, as well as inequalities and exclusion at all levels. The means score for numeracy in these grades in other countries were 28% and 35% respectively. The lack of funds and infrastructure, along with a poor and mostly illiterate population makes establishing an effective education system challenging. © 2021 BizNews, Inc. | The Rational Perspective, Here’s how CEOs and school principals can fix SA education. “South Africa has achieved significant improvements in access to education, but the quality of education is significantly lagging, and secondary education completion rates … Invariably, the relationship between teacher unions and governments becomes antagonistic and generates feelings of fear and mistrust. Public schools in peri-urban and rural areas make up 75% of the schooling system in South Africa – populated by poor black children mostly – and continue to be overcrowded, under-resourced and downright dysfunctional. South Africa’s education system performs worse than those of Zimbabwe, Kenya and Swaziland. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, a quadrennial test conducted in 57 countries, ranks South Africa almost last in its various rankings, even though its scores have been improving. This notable progress has been recorded across the three components of basic education in early childhood development, primary and secondary education: A recent Amnesty International report on education in South Africa paints a picture of a basic education system that is still failing learners from poorer communities.. “But public education provision in townships and rural schools is still of poor quality. The quality of a nation’s teachers cannot be divorced from the quality of its learners exiting schools. Surely, it’s time to properly professionalise this industry, just as has been done with engineers, pilots and (bar KPMG of course) chartered accountants? The reorientation of the education system encompassed transformation from knowledge accumulation to critical thinking and problem-solving, refocusing the racially segregated public spending on education to targeting poor children. At the same time, it’s calculated that 10% of the country’s teachers are absent from school each day, while research found that 79% of South African Grade 6 mathematics teachers were classified as having content knowledge levels below the level at which they were teaching. This has been identified as a cause of the poor quality of South African education. The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context. But introducing teacher standards in South Africa also comes with a caveat. The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. Therefore, the failure of South Africa’s education system has had an intense effect on the economy. For example, a study found that three out of five of the Higher Education Institutions that were sampled provided no English language, literature, or linguistic education for teacher trainees not specialising in this subject, despite poor English language proficiency among teacher trainees being a ubiquitous concern. The state justified its actions by saying that it was protecting the rights of children to education while also mitigating the effects of poverty experienced in the children’s homes. However, the poor quality of education remains a constant theme in South Africa. While they may prevent the worst teaching, they’re unlikely to create the professional culture that promotes the best teaching and attracts the best candidates. Initial teacher education is intensive and teachers exit the programmes with high levels of subject and pedagogical knowledge. Poor quality schooling at the primary and secondary level in South Africa severely limit the youth’s capacity to exploit further training opportunities. doable. Under such circumstances, blaming the failure of the system on inadequate financial resources is probably the most natural thing to do, but that misses the picture completely. As a percentage of total government expenditure, in Tanzania primary and secondary education receive about 16% whereas in South Africa basic education receives about 17.1% of the total allocation. But one idea has recently generated particular interest among education departments, statutory bodies, and academia – the introduction of “teacher professional standards”. Read also: Here’s how CEOs and school principals can fix SA education. The desire and expectation of any parent, society or government is that children should receive a good education to enhance their personal development and transform them into good citizens. Their development began in the US in the late 1980s. The emphasis in the new curriculum after 1996 in South Africa was placed on the transition from the traditional aims and objectives approach to Outcomes-based education (OBE) and Curriculum 2005. For this to be possible, it is crucial to get the foundation phase right. A few of the report’s recommendations were implemented, for example, children from farms were moved to boarding schools in certain provinces, although this raised issues of whether the rights of children and parents were observed. This is hardly surprising when 60% of maths teachers, teaching from grades one to six, failed to pass tests for maths at the grade level, according to the Southern and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring Education Quality. In fact, South Africa spends more on education, some 6% of GDP, than any other African country. JOHANNESBURG — This time of year is usually filled with reflection for the thousands of learners who have completed (or failed) matric. Education in South Africa is governed by two national departments, namely the department of Basic Education (DBE), which is responsible for primary and secondary schools, and the department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), which is responsible for tertiary education and vocational training. Mathematics teaching in South Africa was of poor quality, with teachers lacking knowledge of the Mathematics curriculum they taught, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Monday. It also should be a time of deep reflection of our educational system. The economic stagnation South Africa is experiencing is inextricably linked to the failure of the education system. Prior to 2009, these two departments were represented in a single Department of Education. image caption There are an estimated 12 million children in school in South Africa It was stimulated by the view that higher expectations for student learning could be accomplished only by higher expectations of teaching quality. This is according to a 2015 TIMMS report on mathematics achievements among Grade 5 learners in South Africa. South Africa should not shy away from developing and promoting professional best practice, and providing the opportunities for teachers to reach them. Such aspirations are encapsulated in the belief that the rich intellectual heritage derived from the accumulation of human capital is not only crucial for individual progression but is also vital for long-term economic growth and development. Yet management standards are often mistaken for professional standards. Given its vicious cycle, management standards may be more likely than professional standards in South Africa. The first is the poor quality of maths education, a good maths pass in matric being a key marker in determining access to the middle class. While in-service training programmes attempt to make up the backlog, and some are succeeding in achieving small learning gains, they cannot fully compensate for the lack of teacher skills resulting from poor initial teacher education and generally unskilled matriculants. As a result, existing skills deficiencies among those who are the product of an underperforming school system (predominantly black youth) are likely to … Developing an education system for the fourth industrial revolution that actively applies knowledge to collaborative problem-solving. This is because successive cohorts of learners progress through school, enter university as student teachers, and graduate as teachers where they nurture the next cohort through the cycle. Therefore, there are other factors that are key to underachievement in basic education outcomes. South Africa has a three-tier education system of primary, secondary and further or higher education. Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg. There are many excellent teachers who are hungry for opportunities to develop in ways that nurture autonomy and collegiality. South Africa … Their talents and abilities remain underdeveloped and their economic opportunities remain limited. Those without matric have poor skills and few work-relevant competencies struggle to enter a labour market that demands highly skilled workers. South Africa has the most unequal school system in the world, says Nic Spaull of the University of Stellenbosch. Consequently teaching is a prestigious and attractive profession which recruits the brightest and most motivated school graduates, who don’t require continual monitoring and oversight. This is because few of them attain a university entrance pass and even fewer qualify to pursue degrees in the fields of mathematics and engineering, where most of the opportunities exist. According to the World Economic Forum’s global information technology report 2014, South Africa ranks last (144 out of 144) in terms of the quality of math and science education. Per capita, South Africa spends more on education than most advanced economies such as the United States and the United Kingdom, yet its primary education system was rated 126th out of 138 countries in the World Economic Forum 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Report. Africa has the highest rates of educational exclusion in the world. It not only fails the majority of South African pupils but also weakens the labour force; it hampers the market’s absorption of those with fewer skills and limits their contribution to economic growth. In tests conducted in 15 sub-Saharan African countries in 2007 by the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (Sacmeq), South Africa ranks … Figure 1 shows the proportions of functionally illiterate grade 6 … After five years of schooling, about 50% of South African pupils cannot do basic calculations, such as dividing 24 by three. In a virtuous schooling cycle, such as Finland, education is a desirable career choice for top graduates. Previous studies have shown that the low quality of education offered to the poor eventually becomes a poverty trap.12 Thus one can say that poor children in South Africa, who make up the majority, are starting behind and staying behind. This is a common trend in countries like South Africa which have a “vicious” rather than “virtuous” schooling cycle. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription. The NSNP provides daily meals to … This is despite the fact that on average South Africa allocates between 4.7% and 4.9% of its gross domestic product to basic education whereas Tanzania allocates only about 3.5% but obtains better results. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get daily updates on local affairs, with a global context. Given that teacher quality is one of the biggest factors determining the learning outcomes of students, what will it take to improve teacher quality and professionalism in the country? A number of studies showed … Poor education also reduces the earning potential and career mobility of those who do get jobs – and limits the competitiveness of South African businesses. The effect of food insecurity on education is partially addressed in South Africa through the government’s National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). In South Africa, the advent of democracy triggered significant reforms to the management, governance, curriculum redesign and restructuring, and funding of education. This has been identified as a cause of the poor quality of South African education. The South African education system, characterised by crumbling infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms and relatively poor educational outcomes, is perpetuating inequality and as a result failing too many of its children, with the poor hardest hit according to a new report published by Amnesty International today. In a virtuous cycle the system can afford to set standards that reflect the best professional knowledge internationally. Government will: 1. continue to promote universal access to education by ensuring that all children between ages 7 and 15 are in school. Read also: SA’s alternate education universes – a teacher’s inside view. Angry SAs speak: The alcohol ban is economic murder! 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