EDUCATIONAL institutions have an integral role to play in terms of skills development in our country.
They provide the relevant personnel to companies to keep the wheels of the economy turning.
With a budget of almost R280 billion spent on education, there has to be a requisite return on this investment. Since the dawn of democracy in 1994, our education system in terms of learning and teaching has changed four times. This has put undue pressure on the whole education fraternity, with everybody trying to grapple with the new changes.
Students being accepted into universities are not adequately equipped to deal with the challenges that they encounter at tertiary institutions. The high failure and drop-out rate could be a reflection of the inherent deficiencies faced by our ailing education system.
Could a possibility exist that certain students are pushed through the system while others are forced to repeat certain courses? Institutions like Unisa have sites where students interact with each other, with the sole intention of sharing knowledge and information. Students who are inactive on the site fail while other students pass with a mark of 50%.
Could there also be a quota in respect of students who pass and fail? A few weeks ago, investigations into a pregnant mum revealed that the doctors gave the patient a pethidine injection when she complained about a tight chest as she was struggling to breathe. The pethidine injection aggravated the problem. A medical expert states that it is a widely used painkiller during labour but should not be given to patients with respiratory problems.
Having qualified medical personnel who are oblivious of the contra-indications of this drug is a travesty that has resulted in the death of two innocent lives.
The next question would be as to what other aspects of medical science are doctors lacking in, that could endanger the lives of other patients?
The Department of Health and other institutions need to analyse carefully issues pertaining to progression, more especially in the faculty of medicine.
People cannot be used as guinea pigs merely because bureaucracy dictates so.