SA’s falling education standards

2018-09-25 06:01
PHOTO: suppliedThe designated list was revoked through a Government Gazette from the Department of Higher Education and the minimum admission.

PHOTO: suppliedThe designated list was revoked through a Government Gazette from the Department of Higher Education and the minimum admission.

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UP until March 2018, the minimum requirement for admission to degree studies at a higher education institution was subject to a list of 20-credit subjects known as the “designated subject list”. In order to gain entry into degree studies, pupils had to obtain a NSC with a minimum of a 50% achievement rating in all designated subjects.

However, on March 2, the designated list was revoked through a Government Gazette from the Department of Higher Education and the minimum admission requirements for degree study are expected to be changed to require an achievement of 50% or more in any four subjects from the recognised 20-credit subject list. The only NSC subject that does not have 20-credits is Life Orientation.

In addition, pupils need to pass one official language (Home Language level) at 40% or more, pass two subjects at a minimum of 30% and meet the language requirement for entry to degree studies.

A teacher who asked to remain anonymous said that what the government has done is ridiculous, saying that South Africa already depends on other countries to bring in trained doctors to work in the country.

“The government itself doesn’t trust its own product. How can the other countries trust it with such ridiculous marks to go to tertiary,” she said.

“What the government did was ridiculous because the pupils are failing already as the passing mark was reduced to 30% and now the designated credit list was revoked from 50% to 30%, which is very bad,” said the frustrated teacher.

She said that South Africa doesn’t stand a chance against other countries.

“We are faced by a problem of pupils not getting proper jobs from other countries because no one would want to be operated on by 30% pass-mark doctor,” she stated.

She advised that if the government knows what’s best for the pupils, they will revoke the ruling.

A grade 12 pupil, Smiso Mtambo from Ingqungqulu High School at eMolweni, said the government didn’t think this through before putting it into action. “You can’t expect a pupil to pass math with 30% and be able to be admitted for a degree in the university,” he said, going on to remark that he feels that the government has no right to ruin the future of graduates like this.

“Our parents can’t afford our school fees as it is, everything is hiking which means the institution fees will also increase and I will go to the university with this mark then be stuck and not get a job after because no one will want to hire a someone who’s literally not educated,” he explained.

Further he said no firm will take someone with a 30% mark in mathematics to defend their clients.

“My suggestion is that the government should go back into the drawing board and come up with a better solution or even revoke this 40 and 30% mark thing.”

In conclusion, the pupils said that the generation before them was able to pass with the very same 50% mark, what will stop them doing it too.

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