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Educational Jail

14 January 2014, 10:40

In the year 1997 the South African government introduced a new educational system called the Curriculum 2005 programme. This was in effect a move that would enable them to climb aboard the international bandwagon because ‘everybody was doing it’ and begin plans for implementing the new ‘Outcomes-Based Education’ (OBE) System.

Thanks to our minister of education at the time, Mr Sibusiso Bengu, a group of young innocent minds would embark on a new journey of what was supposedly the best education system around. Of course all research to the contrary from countries like Australia, USA and most European countries who scrapped the programme quick enough to at least try and salvage the minds of those poor innocents was promptly ignored and brushed aside as proper South African politics required.

The ‘experiment’ was then on its way as the system, dubbed a failure by the majority of the world, was enforced into the public sector in 1997 and running it’s course for just over a decade before the education department had realised it’s mistake and began thinking that maybe, just~ maybe… those foreigners were on to something when they got rid of it all those years ago.

In 2006 the ‘social experiment’ had been widely acknowledge as one of those ‘oh crap...’ moments and the ‘problem’ was pushed to the back of the shelf, ‘the test subjects left to carry on and muddle the rest of their way. After all, s#*t happens, right?

Obviously it took much longer for the system itself to be phased out, what with all those elections coming and going and Presidents being impeached and so on, but by 2010 the Obviously-Bad-Experience was officially declared ‘scrapped’. The fact was practically driven home in recent news as our minister of basic education and her horrid stripped jacket declared that ‘OBE was to be a thing of the past…’

Even as the jailer speaks, those of us that had already served our sentence sit and watch the circus continue. Some of us may have already overcome the unfortunate’ guinea pig’ status where our education had been a moment of ‘experimentation’, while others have probably suffered and had the unfortunate luck of living through the scribbled system delivered to those after our term was up.

It’s now 2014, barely enough time for the education system to recover from all the tumbles it has been through and already a new and wholly extensive step is being taken… and it’s not even one that addresses the main issue.

Instead of taking a look at the quality of material being given to ALL pupils and ensuring the qualifications of ALL instructors are up to par, the education department has decided that students are in need of two more years of schooling before their released into the big bad world. So instead of the 12 years that’s been working for everybody since 19-whoknowswhen, they have decided to extend what most students would themselves call a living hell, to 14 years.

For a species that is said to be ‘evolving’, where children are practically walking out the womb with their fingers poised and ready to text away and mastering multiple languages [given the freedom to do so] I can’t understand why this would be necessary?

Using the fact that children develop faster as a reason to get them educated at an earlier age still wouldn’t extend the years required for schooling. If anything wouldn’t it shorten it?

Personally I feel that putting that kind of child through 14 years of schooling would be some kind of injustice, surely something of their individuality would be lost, their creativity?

I imagine the drop-out rate would bypass all records in history, never mind the cases of child abuse or suicides. Children get bored and do stupid things.

But then again I guess that’s just my observation…

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