Standard of education 'a crisis'

2012-04-19 12:39

Johannesburg - The standard of education in South Africa and the fate of children who had been let down by dysfunctional provinces was concerning, the Cape Chamber of Commerce said on Thursday.

"The Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, has called on business to create jobs but business also needs educated people to fill the positions," chamber president Michael Bagraim said.

"If the schools are not providing people with the basic literacy and numeracy skills it becomes difficult to employ the school-leavers and the result will be this growing band of frustrated young people."

Bagraim said the problem was not funding but poor management and unions which blocked attempts to improve the situation in classrooms.

The chamber's executive director, Viola Manuel, said business needed to become more actively involved.

"We are dealing with a crisis and business needs to first acknowledge that we have allowed this situation to continue for too long."

She said she agreed with University of Free State vice chancellor Jonathan Jansen who said there was a lack of political commitment to take on the unions and under-performing provinces.

"Our political leaders have a lot to answer for, but business needs to be part of the solution if we are to have any chance of meaningful change," said Manuel.

  • Lyndatjie - 2012-04-19 12:49

    What gave it away? The fact that the kids are coming out of school with NOTHING for the employers to work with anymore? Dropping the standard the whole time is NOT helping... all you are doing is creating a false positive....

      Peter-Peter - 2012-04-19 13:39

      Mr Pravin Gordhan, the ANC are doing something about education! They lowered the pass rate, so more can pass! havnt you heard? the stupid of today is the genius of tomorrow! Companies are being run straight into the ground by the higher echelons of this country...but we must just suck it up, and lend a helping hand to the dog that will bite it

      Kala - 2012-04-19 15:23

      ther es nuthing rong with our edukashin sistem.

  • Wimpie.Haefele - 2012-04-19 12:51

    What standard of education?

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:23

      I getted a good edukayshin coz the skewl gave me fiftee pursent extra on mi marcs wen i written matrick so now i am gowing to beecome the prezidint.

      Wimpie.Haefele - 2012-04-19 14:11

      As long as the pass rate look good on the annual report all is good (even if they have to drop the pass rate to 30% and lower the level of education to be in line with the weakest student)

      Kala - 2012-04-19 15:26

      What is cary is that the quoted matric pass rate does not include those that drop out or don't get passed grade 10. If these were included in the overall matric pass rate the rate would be slightly above ground level.

  • Shirley - 2012-04-19 12:54

    Too much union interferance,too much wasteful spending,too few equipped teachers employed,too many strikes and too little governance! This doesnt only describe the education of S.A. but the state of the country. Once again all things "wrong" are pointed out but WHAT is going to be done about it??????????

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:10

      Exactly! Education should have been the grassroots priority of Nelson Mandela from DAY1 if we are to improve the lot of our nation in a sustainable way. Anybody who want meaningful schooling is forced to turn to Private schooling, and that unfortunately is outside of the means of most SA's. The standard of free schooling is a farce, and even so, we have such shocking pass rates that the Dept. Education intervenes and raises the marks so that they look less inept themselves. No education = no growth = no economy = banana republic.

  • CharlesDumbwin - 2012-04-19 12:54

    Well that's what we get when this current regime keeps dropping the standards and required passing grades to cater for the lowest common denominator, just so that government pass stats look good. SHAMEFUL

  • Mike - 2012-04-19 12:57

    And the surprise is?? You get what you vote for

      Massey - 2012-04-19 15:58

      So true Mike. And what does a business have to do with the kids education? It's the responsibility of the Dep of education. They and the all so clever "let's lower the standards to get good passrate" goverment that need to catch a wakeup. By thinking they are smart, they screwed the last 10years of scholars out of a proper education and job.

  • mariuskowie - 2012-04-19 12:59

    How on earth are businesses going to be able to help resolve the education crisis. Sounds like a manner to channel more money (from business) into the system without actual solutions to the massive education crisis. The individuals responsible needs to be fired or re-trained and standards needs to be set and enforced. But that is too much to ask from the lame greedy corrupt criminal duck the ANC has become. Why do more people resort to home schooling? What is the sense of sending your kids to a school where they walk out with no more knowledge than they walked in with? The whole crisis is a violation of human rights and business will pay for that for many years to come. Where do business find competent staff is the educational systems are not even teaching the basics. The certificates issued now-days are totally worthless.

      Kala - 2012-04-19 13:08

      Nobody wants to hire people at the moment. The laws governing employment are not condusive to creating jobs. Companies are basically told who to employ (BEE) and then when the candidate doesn't perform you can't fire them. Education is one of Governments resposibilities. Throwing tons of money at the problem doesn't always create a solution.

      Murechen - 2012-04-19 13:56

      Its a trend with government at the moment, every time they screw up, "Business must assist government..." and its about time that business community stands up and fights back. They cannot be held responsible directly or indirectly for the mistakes of government. The government promised job creation, over and over again and then threw in that famous phrase "business must help...". Business wasn't consulted with the promises were made but they must bail out. Stand up and say no, you cant build a solid house on a bad foundation or in some cases, no foundation at all.

      Alan - 2012-04-19 14:09

      @Murechen. Business is what keeps the economy afloat as it is. The Govt. can only obtain taxes by leeching of Business and business employees. The labour and tax laws have become so dificult for business to operate successfully as it is, that the Govt. is already killing the golden goose that lays the golden eggs. Push it to far .. and everything collapses. Somehow, I think many businesses are already at tipping point, yet the Govt. wants business to get more involved??? I think there is big big k*kka on the way - sooner than many think! The Tol roads have almost united the nation in 'anti' sentiment. Business and the people have had enough!

  • Felix - 2012-04-19 13:02

    Not long until our leaders are sending their kids to school in Hong Kong.

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:13

      On Business Class of course...

      David - 2012-04-19 13:24

      And another two planes shadowing them. Just in case!!

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:28

      yah - because 3 planes shadowing them would be detrimental to the carbon footprint, and we are very concerned about environmental issues since the Dbn conference. We even pay carbon taxes on new cars, and of course this tax is used solely for improving the environment.

      Felix - 2012-04-19 13:29

      With the whole family and their shopping baskets. lol

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:39

      Er - those shopping baskets are called Boeings

      Felix - 2012-04-19 13:59

      The Boeings are for the perishables, the rest comes via MSC.

      Alan - 2012-04-19 14:10

      yeah - MSC - My Shopping Cargo

  • eil33nn - 2012-04-19 13:02

    What about the fact that the rest of the world said OBE is crap and does not work!

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:49

      What does the rest of the world know? We are global leaders! Vivaaaa

  • Sharon - 2012-04-19 13:09

    Do businesses have to them to read and write as well as train them for the positions? They come out of school the same way they went in..

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:44

      just 23 years older.

      Sharon - 2012-04-19 13:51

      You are quite correct. There was a story on here recently where a 17 year old boy raped a 6 year old girl at school. People asked what a 17 year old was doing in a primary school? Apparently he was in grade 7!

      Kala - 2012-04-19 15:21

      For some of them the best 5 years of their lives is grade 10

  • catgirl1971 - 2012-04-19 13:12

    Prior to the cANCer taking over the education system was fine (except of course for the horrid Bantustan education system) but SA had educated people not idiots like today who can't even spell let alone construct a halfway decent grammatically-correct sentence. It is a disgrace how all standards in this country are dropping and the ANC couldn't be bothered to do a damn thing - paying lip-service doesn't cost a cent but lets the rest of the world and the fools think that something will be done. Sadly not but smoke and mirrors creates wonderful illusions does it not?

  • Victor - 2012-04-19 13:22

    The standard of education was in deep sh#t the moment they implemented usless OBE, BUT WOULD THEY LISTEN OR TAKE ADVICE !!!!!!

  • Tlou - 2012-04-19 13:43

    unemployable graduates,,now this is what we call a serious problem...teachers need to shape up or ship out...

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:49

      ship out.

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:52

      The teachers and their ethics in many cases are a serious problem, but there is much more to it. The conditions at the schools and facilities are shocking. The materials are sub standard. The syllabus is a joke. And the saddest part is that there are so many ids that would jump at the opportunity of a decent education. This (education), to my mind, is the biggest failing of Govt.

      Peter - 2012-04-19 14:14

      Welcome all refugees to the Western Cape! Or are we all still going to say Helen was wrong here? All your comments show that Education country-wide is in crisis, but let just one WORD be spoken by the DA about it, and wham-bam-thank-you-mam --- we divert the attention from the REAL issue and hit the messenger and sommer the message!

      Murechen - 2012-04-19 15:48

      @Tlou The teachers union is refusing to allow performance agreements, so there is no possible way of monitoring our teachers and schools. The Pres. himself spoke about performance agreements for ministers - that hasn't happened. So there is definately an "I dont care" attitude coming from the government on all fronts.

  • Brandon - 2012-04-19 13:50

    Now we wait in anticipation on how "blund" Blade Nzimande and the cANCer cronies will attack Michael Bagraim for daring to write these things in open media and not talk to government behind close doors about it.

      Alan - 2012-04-19 13:58

      secrecy act wil fix all of that.

  • billidp - 2012-04-19 13:56

    The ANC Government has messed up the education system. The lowering of pass-rates does nobody any good, least of all the "matriculants" (and I use that word very lightly)that pass only because the pass-rate has been lowered to allow them to do so! Business wants and needs people who are qualified to do the work ~ our matriculants will also find it very difficult to find work in other countries because our education dept has screwed them for that! But then again it pays the ANC to keep the majority uneducated because the more educated they are the more they will see that all the ANC is doing is feathering the nests of their elite and bugger the rest.....

      Alan - 2012-04-19 14:15

      yeah - you take the level of education in Private Schools and compare that with Govt. OBE Matriculants. It is chalk and cheese. I seriously doubt that a Govt. matriculant (in general) could pass Pvt School's Grade 8 exam, so vast is the difference! It is a tragedy, and not the fault of the kids who have no choice. They are being denied a chance of a decent future because they do not have a chance at decent or meaningful education. Education is the cornerstone of any successful economy.

  • Michael - 2012-04-19 15:06

    Teachers need to TEACH, and not attend some useless District Courses. Qualified teachers need a SACE number, otherwise you dont teach. They are not suppose to spend 2/3 of their time doing admin work and the other third on the sport field. For NO other reason the education system in SA has failed but that. SA Teachers are not teaching they are busy with Government admin and sport. My best friend is a teacher and he is never available for social gatherings, he is working. He earns probable a third of what I earn.

      Bhavisha Nathoo - 2012-04-19 21:02

      i am an educator and the problem is we have no rights to discipline learners. another problem is that learners seem to be in a comfort zone because the department takes no action on learners who fail more then 2 times, by that i refer to my grade 10 learners; i teach gr 10 learners aged 18, 19, 20 and 21. and still have no interest in passing!

  • Alan - 2012-04-19 15:07

    my 5yr old granddaughter will be able to write and pass the matric that is been given to the children

  • thelittlegreenhouse - 2012-04-19 15:09

    Take the Antidote: Home Educate :-)

  • Lee - 2012-04-19 15:16

    I agree when my child comes home having been given a project to do by his teacher on Sangoma's and Witchcraft etc (Grade 5). Why on earth must kids work on something like that which is evil and I cannot see where that will get him in life when he is finished school. So angry about it.

  • nmmafutha - 2012-04-19 15:18

    Well wth NCS i pull my hands on, but wth a 30% socalled passing rate serving as a proof that one realy went to school, i've got a huge problem. A mndate of 50% atleast nor any less....

  • nmmafutha - 2012-04-19 15:18

    Well wth NCS i pull my hands on, but wth a 30% socalled passing rate serving as a proof that one realy went to school, i've got a huge problem. A mndate of 50% atleast nor any less....

  • Cris - 2012-04-19 15:25

    The grammatical errors by English speakers on this forum tells you part of the story.

  • jdvos - 2012-04-19 21:37

    South Africa had one of the best education systems in the world, it's a pity the whole education dept was dismissed when ANC took over, imagine if they worked together with the new govt. what a difference it would have made.

  • vandereems - 2012-04-20 07:28

    Government schools are not only failing in South Africa, but all over the world. If business wants to become involved in education, they should not get involved in failing systems. They should rather get involved in educational options with a track record of success, such as home education. More information on home education can be found on the website of the Association for Homeschooling at

  • pages:
  • 1