PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
KWS
 
Comments: 16
Article views: 1047
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all KWS's badges.
 

Welcome to our Circus of Mediocrity (Matric certificate optional)

13 January 2014, 14:39

As Angie Motshekga and her supporting troop of dancing monkeys bask in the warm glow of the dramatically increased Matric pass rate, South Africans who venture to question the numbers are worried. Justifiably so. In fact, they should be terrified of what the sideshow that calls itself the Department of Education is doing to our country. Our children are entering the world of work and tertiary education woefully underprepared, with qualifications worth less than the paper they are written on. Yet more concerning is the systematic erosion of the long-term competitive sustainability of business and, by extension, the overall economy of South Africa.

And what is the response of our learned Cabinet of clowns? Smug, self-congratulatory glee at their impending pay hikes, bonus payouts and luxury R1.3m German sedans which will surely follow to reward their collective ineptitude. The circus truly has come to town.

Because, you see, none of them have bothered to dig a bit deeper, to scratch beneath the quantitative surface of the seemingly miraculous trapeze act that is the turnaround of South African secondary education. If they did, they would discover that the 'turnaround' doesn't exist. That the pass rate is inflated beyond recognition, thanks to a touch of good old-fashioned sleight of hand. And, more importantly, that it says very little about the quality of our school-leaving qualification. Compare the Maths, Science and English literacy rates of our pupils to the rest of the world and South Africa scores dismally. Our education system has become a bastion of mediocrity, and not only are we unashamed of it, we are shouting it from the rooftops. 

Consider the dilemma of the 30% pass mark. A lower pass mark means exam questions of lower complexity, requiring less of the higher order cognitive processes of reasoning, problem solving and critical thinking and more lower order functioning such as rote memorizing and reproduction. The lions and tigers in this production are systematically being replaced with parrots. Yes, the hoops in this act have become so large that even the elephants can stroll comfortably through them.  In effect, we are producing a generation of school leavers with lower cognitive capability, with less ability to question, analyze and reason. And this has potentially long-lasting consequences, not only economically and socially, but also politically.

Our president is quick to leverage the falsely inflated pass rate in his 2014 election manifesto - proudly claiming it to be one of the many feathers in the ANC's illustrious cap. And perhaps there is good reason for that Cheshire cat grin as he languishes in the taxpayer-funded firepool at Corruption Manor. Forgive my cynicism, but could it be that he is having his cake and eating it? Not only does it look like his government is improving education in leaps and bounds. But quietly, beneath the surface, he is also benefiting from a majority electorate that will remain under-educated, and continue to lack in critical thinking. An electorate which is thus more likely to remain unquestionably loyal to his ruling party in years to come. Throw us a few bananas (or food parcels) just before the next election, and we're sure to buy a ticket to the next 5 years of his performance, right?

Perhaps we are not giving Mr. Zuma, the ringmaster of this fiasco, the credit he is due after all...

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Traveller from Kasi

Let’s just face it, travelling can be a bliss. Read more...

1 comments 34 views
Submitted by
Larry
International law is not a suicid...

Reason will apportion blame where it belongs. Only the children of Gaza are innocent and their blood is on Hamas’s hands.  Read more...

14 comments 223 views
Submitted by
Samantha Corbett
What does a book mean to you?

The right to literacy and the right to education should be fundamental pillars for every society. Books represent many things, but at their core, they’re a powerful medium for education and the growth and distribution of knowledge Read more...

1 comments 64 views
Submitted by
Reflect 014
Is this Middle Ages Plague stagin...

In addition to the ongoing spread and efforts to contain the Ebola virus there has been a re-emergence of a middle-ages bacterial disease known as Bubonic plague. Read more...

3 comments 155 views
Submitted by
MIcheal Rhodes
Dear South Africa, being black do...

I have read a plethora of comments on this site with one underlying message; black people in general are incompetent. Dear South Africa that could not be further from the truth.  Read more...

57 comments 1246 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
The unseen unkown world around us

For the past few months I have been involved in a project in my hometown. Read more...

4 comments 1290 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.