2010-01-12 10:37

This week the majority of matriculants got to know their fate and

glimpse their future, except for a few in Mpumalanga.

During the course of the week I read in the newspapers that almost

40% of matriculants had failed. Those who praised the 60% pass rate missed the

mark, irrespective of whether Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) is in its infancy

or not.

The 60% pass rate is not something we can pride ourselves on; and

Mama Angie Motshekga is correct to be most unhappy about the matric


The Honourable Angie, together with all her staff, should start

working now so that we can sing a different and better tune come this time next

year, otherwise President Jacob Zuma will end up exercising his chesa mpama

skills, fuelled by ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

Our country needs highly skilled and qualified people if we are to

improve our economic and social conditions. If OBE fails to prepare learners for

university, then there is no way that SA will produce the desired professionals.

The majority of students produced by OBE find it difficult to cope at tertiary

institutions. It’s an open secret that many of these learners cannot even read

or write; I don’t even want to talk about basic calculating.

Advocates of OBE must come out in public and apologise for having

misled the nation.

I support institutions of higher learning that are not willing to

take on learners who cannot read or write. I know some may argue that “the doors

of learning shall be opened” or “education is not a privilege but a right”; I am

sure that comparing the failure and dropout rates of new first-year students of

2009 at tertiary institutions with previous years will prove that OBE is not the

way to go.

OBE has proved to be unrealistic. Some people want OBE to be buried

once and for all. Feel free to air your views on this one if you wish.

Both policymakers and implementers must just agree that OBE has

failed, and they must come up with a new system. I am just glad that Angie

Motshekga will be making some changes to OBE; this really proves that she

acknowledges it has failed. I am, however, joining the voices that call for a

return to the old education system, as it has proved to be the best.

Who is with

me on this one? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice the products of the

old education system upon whom the country prides itself.

I just want to bring it to the attention of the Basic Education

Minister that the problems with OBE are far bigger than just poor teaching, weak

management in schools and lack of leadership and commitment.

I therefore challenge the minister to host a reasonable number of

teachers at a seminar to scrutinise OBE before making any drastic changes to the

current system. Hopefully we will not witness another decline in the pass rate

of the class of 2010.

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