OBE chaos for colleges

2008-04-14 00:00

THE Education Department’s new Outcomes-Based Education (OBE), which appears to be clouded with confusion, has been met with a lot of criticism from correspondence colleges.

They are not the only ones. People directly affected by the change-over are also saying that not enough thought was put into the system.

Several of these colleges say there is currently no new syllabus in place, other than the one offered in high schools and correspondence colleges such as Damelin.

Colleges have been instructed not to register anyone under the new system until negotiations have been reached with the Education Department.

“It is not clear how the new system will work. To write your matric under the new system this year, you have to be registered at a school. That’s all well and good for the younger people who can go back to school. But what about the older people, where do they go?” said Maureen Pascoe of Damelin.

She said under this new system, they will be unable to enroll anyone without a grade 10 certificate. Those without will now be required to do grades 10, 11 and 12 in order to acquire the matric certificate.

Moreover, they are now required to do seven subjects instead of six, as was the case under the old system.

“It’s very unfair. Yes, we have a new rule and a new government, but what about people who were allowed to leave school in standard eight under the old system? There are grown people with children who have been working for 20 years and find themselves stuck because they don’t have matric. How do you expect them to go back to grade 10?” said Pascoe.

However, this does not only pose a threat to the thousands of people registered with part-time institutions or adult centres, but it ultimately affects a large number of children being home-schooled.

Shellain Dettemr, mother of a 17-year-old matric pupil studying at home, said her daughter did grade 10 and 11 under the new OBE system at school before being taken out of school.

Dettemr said they found out at the end of March that her daughter will not be able to write under correspondence college. But it is too late for her to go back into the school system. “My child doesn’t deserve this. She now has to repeat a year for other people’s mistakes. Why were we not told in time so we could consider other options?”

The director of Private Institutions in the Education Department could not be reached for comment.

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