claidheamhmor: (Vendetta 2)
[personal profile] claidheamhmor
Education is failing us here in South Africa.

The most recent stats for last year's matrics (grade 12 school leavers) have been published. 78% of the matrics passed the year. This sounds OK - after all, it's better than previous years - but then you dig a bit deeper.

For example:
  • If you actually count all of the kids starting Grade 1 in 2002 who passed matric in 2013, then the pass rate is only 38%. In other words, on average, only 38% of our youth are successfully completing school.
  • The Grade 9 average maths mark was 14%. Only 3% of Grade 9s got over 50% for maths.
  • Only 3% of matrics got a distinction for maths. Only 40% of them scored over 40% for maths. Only 26% got over 50% (which is the minimum requirement for any science or commerce-based university course). Similar result for science.

In other words, while the overall pass rate sounds good, the vast majority of even those who passed are not actually educated enough for anything but unskilled jobs. Most of those getting into university can't get into the science and commerce courses, and as a result, SA is desperately short of graduates in the science and engineering fields.

Of course, because most matrics are not qualified enough to get decent jobs, unemployment goes up; the unemployment rate for people in the school-leaving age category is around 40%. Without jobs, poverty worsens, there's impact on the economy, and people aren't able to help their own children through school. It's a vicious cycle. :(

Date: Friday, 10 January 2014 14:01 (UTC)
ext_1598774: (Default)
From: [identity profile] acey.livejournal.com
Wow - that seems pretty grim when you analyze it like that. :\

Date: Friday, 10 January 2014 15:32 (UTC)
cracked_belle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cracked_belle
"In other words, while the overall pass rate sounds good, the vast majority of even those who passed are not actually educated enough for anything but unskilled jobs."
the general consensus is that's what Bush's No Child Left Behind Act did in the US a few years back.

it sucks that, in general, people (both children and adults) are not being held as accountable for their schooling and their actions as they should be anymore. :/

Date: Saturday, 11 January 2014 13:57 (UTC)
filialucis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filialucis
Ouch, those figures don't look good at all.

Was it better in our day, do you have any idea? It would be interesting to know which way the long-term trend is going.

Date: Monday, 13 January 2014 13:19 (UTC)
filialucis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filialucis
"Strongly suspect" suggests that you don't have a breakdown of the stats by population groups? Now that would have been interesting.

Incidentally, I looked at my old school's website some time ago and gained the impression that there, at least, the quality of the education on offer has declined since my time. The subjects they're offering are fewer in number and on a narrower spectrum than they used to. Don't know what the academic standard is like (it was high in my day), but if I were an expat on a brief stint in ZA, I wouldn't want to send my kids there now.

Date: Wednesday, 15 January 2014 13:59 (UTC)
filialucis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filialucis
Interesting indeed... and sobering. :S

I wonder whether the "lost generation" is a factor in this as well? There was an entire generation that pretty much missed out on a decent education at the end of the 1980s. If they make up a sizeable proportion of today's parents, how well-equipped are they to help their kids get through school, or even to teach them that education as such is important?

(Don't know what it's like in ZA, but around here, where in theory we have free access to all levels of education for everyone who wants it, children of parents with lower qualifications are much less likely to end up at university than children of graduates. There's a strong tendency to prefer leaving school at 15 and going into vocational training, since that way they "earn money immediately". That they're likely to always earn less than someone with better qualifications tends to get overlooked.)

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claidheamhmor

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