Top matrics fail varsity admission tests

2014-01-24 00:00

TOP matriculants who had seven distinctions in last year’s matric exams, have failed the admission tests at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).

They had to get 50% to be admitted. Rector Professor Adam Habib said the fact that the students failed shows there are big problems in the South-African school system.

“The results that matriculants get are unreliable and not necessarily an accurate indication of their abilities or knowledge.”

He said the basic problems that are being experienced in schools must first get attention before the more technical aspects of the teaching system can be tackled.

These problems include improvement of schools infrastructure, training of teachers, stricter discipline and better management.

Professor Kobus Lombard, an expert in teacher training and development at the North West University, said the top matriculants had probably failed failed the admission test because they did not get the right foundation at school.

“Schools maybe focus too much on good results, rather than teaching pupils in depth to ensure that they understand the work thoroughly.”

Lombard suggested that teaching should assess ability and long-term knowledge rather than their ability to memorise information over the short term.

Wits is meanwhile offering courses to help new students who are not on par, as well as evening classes, and summer and winter schools for Grade 10 to 12 pupils.

“We as a university cannot overcome the education system’s challenges on our own, but we are doing what we can by helping those who struggle and supporting schools as much as possible,” Habib said.

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