Zuma: Education report results disappointing

2011-06-30 21:03

Cape Town - The results of the government's first annual national assessment of literacy and numeracy levels at schools were "disappointing" but would help to measure the impact of education programmes, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

"While the results in themselves were disappointing, they inform the nation about where exactly performance is good or not," Zuma said in a statement.

"The results demonstrate that where literacy and numeracy programmes are implemented effectively and in a focused manner such as in Gauteng and the Western Cape, performance is enhanced.

"The ANA [Annual National Assessments] results also enable government to identify points in the system where province, district or school intervention is needed."

Zuma said experts would work with government's oversight and delivery unit to help provinces implement programmes to strengthen teaching and learning and improve the quality of basic education.

He said the findings showed "the correctness" of government's decision to make education a top priority and the new assessment system would enable the state to "accurately measure on an annual basis the impact of specific programmes and interventions".

A benchmark

Parliament's portfolio committee on basic education said the findings "should serve as a pointer of where the problem is; as an indicator of the direction we should take and as a gauge of the interventions we should bring into the system.

"Good or bad, these results are a benchmark that should rekindle the greater vision of the department," committee chairperson Hope Malgas said.

The assessment results released on Tuesday showed that the national average performance for literacy was 35% and for numeracy 28% among Grade 3 pupils, while only 12% of Grade 6 pupils scored 50% or more for mathematics.

Basic Education Minister Angi Motshekga described the findings as "very sad".

Noting that a pupil's first five years at school were a "make or break" watershed in his or her development, she said the assessment showed there had been an under-emphasis in education on basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic.

The assessment was conducted among six million so-called foundation phase (Grades 1 to 3) and intermediate phase (Grades 4 to 6) pupils attending government schools in February.

  • Simpiwe Cele - 2011-06-30 21:06

    and we do what about this ?

      USSA - 2011-06-30 21:10

      We scream and shout into the abyss called the New Regime....

      Warslat - 2011-06-30 21:19

      I bet most of those kids are more educated than he is. What right has he to be disappointed?

      Creeky - 2011-07-01 07:02

      When you get a nation to place a man of little education (Std 3) as the LEADER of a COUNTRY.... then you can EXPECT RESULTS LIKE THIS!!! When you have a 'ruining' party that onl;y cares about SELF-ENRICHMENT, and doesn't GIVE A TOSS about the poor and illiterate.... then you can expect results like this! When you place a group of USELESS CADRE'S in Govt, and they prefer to spend billions (R31b) on FOOTBALL Stadiums, rather than IMPROVE THE PEOPLES SOCIAL UPLIFTMENT..... you get results like this... When you get a Govt that CLOSES DOWN TEACHERS TRAINING COLLEGES... you get results like this! Don't know why the bloody Idiot is dissappointed???????

      TheUgly - 2011-07-01 08:39

      Nothing, strategicly. The longer the masses stay uneducated, the longer the ANC will reign. Ps. I've noticed that the ANC are quick to admit where there is fault, but they just don't ever do anything about it. A true leader would say here's the problem and this is how we are going to solve it. Zuma just states here's the problem.

      Gomez - 2011-07-01 09:21

      Zuma is not disappointed....Just a new dumb generation that will continue voting for corruption because they are scared if they don't the will not be allowed into heaven.The ANC loves these results.They are only allowed to be disappointed if they did something against it which they haven't and they won't for it is these dumb people that insures a thriving corrupt future for but a handful of ANC clowns..

  • USSA - 2011-06-30 21:08

    I keep hearing the word disappointment from the ANC now.....what I want to see is the solutions. Stop crying and do something A$$hole.

      croix - 2011-06-30 23:44

      Jakes is "disappointed" and Angie is "sad" - together, they are a "sad disappointment" in the education of our kids. The problem is, however: THEY CANNOT FIX IT, no matter how hard they try. A basic lack of education and management skills are pegging our education at its current level - and not a thing can be done about it for at least the next 5 to 10 years. But this is exactly what the cANCer wants......

  • USSA - 2011-06-30 21:14

    The standard of education has been "adapted" so far downwards, to meet the previously disadvantaged. "It has fallen down so far just can't get up"

  • Barney Stinson - 2011-06-30 21:14

    The youth need to read good literature in order to cope with the demands of modern day living.I recommend a book called "The Bro Code".. It's a helpful guide to life in the 21st century and should definitely be prescribed at all schools everywhere.

  • thinker - 2011-06-30 21:15

    Standard Zuma quote "of cause we can do better, there is always room for improvement" thinking to himself "I just wish someone will give me the answer"

      Creeky - 2011-07-01 07:03

      I thought it was: "Daily... (licks lips).... we as a nation... face many ..(licks lips) ..... CHALLENGES"!!!!!!!!

  • Spade - 2011-06-30 21:17

    Not unexpected though. It is a simple matter of setting the example - our President is not exactly an academic giant and the President of the Youth League (which should be full of students and pupils) is one gene from a rock.

      peregrinus - 2011-07-01 13:25

      Well said Spade!!! Let's all thank Kadel Asmal who brought this miserable system into our education system.

  • cocopops - 2011-06-30 21:27

    There was a report recently of over 4000 unqualified teachers in KZN alone, so is this unexpected?. How many of our teachers are teaching the youth in other countries but due to ANC incompetence, have moved on for greener pastures. During the years of apartheid the black kids were given a better education than what they are receiving today, 17 years on.

      Liberty - 2011-07-01 02:35

      Yes and there was also a report of teachers staying away from class to attend union meetings. That's not the cause in itself but that act smacks of the poor attitude that some teachers have towards doing their jobs. Then there's corruption in the education department, and it's gotten so bad that many schools doesn't even have books. Then there's also the problem of unqualified incompetent teachers and learners that couldn't be less interested in learning. This is a losing battle

  • saliem - 2011-06-30 21:28

    Problem is that they have had these annual tests for ages now and don't seem to be going anywhere. Someone with good literacy skills can make a fortune out of helping peeps articulate themselves in writing.

  • GT - 2011-06-30 21:31

    Looking forward to SADTU comments and the Education ministers who have presided over this downward spiral.

      Liberty - 2011-07-01 02:40

      She already have commented. She's sad

      croix - 2011-07-01 09:47

      Yes, like 'Naledi the Pandorer' - let's see her waffle her way out of blame for this disasterous state. When she was in charge, she promised to move heaven & earth "from grass roots level up", but she achieved N-O-T-H-I-N-G !! Angie is perpetuating the 'spinning' and also improving N-O-T-H-I-N-G !! Zuma lives in a fool's paradise-and all of us with him.

  • Cynical Sci - 2011-06-30 21:58

    Thank you Captain Obvious

  • Wishbone - 2011-06-30 21:58

    This is the fruits of your party's policies! It is on YOUR watch that this is happened and no matter how your spin doctors spin this, the ANC are failing South Africa.

  • Bidartbru - 2011-06-30 22:01

    JZ didnt have to look far to find poor education results, he just needed to pick up Julias' report card.....

      DJI - 2011-07-01 09:58

      Or look in the mirror.

  • Utopian - 2011-06-30 22:06

    Listen to Trevor Manuel. Stop generating changes and 'ideas'. Empower people to do real work, which is NOT holding meetings and filling in forms and spreadsheets.

  • Jacques - 2011-06-30 22:06

    Not once, in all the discussion on bad / education the bad school buildings etc would be highlighted but never the REAL reason for the poor education - THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TEACHERS, give them a good increase and start teachers training with bursaries and re-open the Teacher Training Colleges that have been closed since 1994. Spend the huge educational budget on additional schools and URGENT training of new teachers.

      RJL - 2011-06-30 22:15

      That would imply that the ANC wants an educated populace... An uneducated voter is an ANC voter ;)

      mike881 - 2011-06-30 22:29

      My daughter is a fourth year beneficiary of the Funza Lashaka (education dept) bursary. The bad news is that all the trainee teachers at Wits who received the bursary for this year have still not received a cent and we are already half way through the year. As per usual with anything involving the government - the money/funds are there, it is just the administration and implementation that breaks down due to poor management.

      Digit - 2011-06-30 22:35

      Re-opening the TTC's is obviously a no-brainer, however, if they were able to open then by January 2012, the first results would only emerge 4 years from now. Hiwever, for now, pupils need to pull up their socks and stop bitching about "mother tongue" education .... those writing matric now have had 100% open schools in English at least ... so buck up and stop moaning and demanding that the matric level be dropped to accommodate the mediocre and the useless !!!! SA needs the brilliant and the best to grow and develop.

  • Darron - 2011-06-30 22:25

    The ANC government closed all of the education colleges, which, contrary to their popularly held belief, produced teachers that were superior to those trained at universities. In addition, their propagation of a woefully inferior education system, namely OBE, has only compounded the problems in education. They express surprise at the standard of literacy in SA, despite being warned by experienced educators back in the 90's that OBE would not work and that the closing of education colleges was ill - considered. Words fail me!!!

  • sello matube - 2011-06-30 22:38

    Our govrnment should really start to take our education seriously. Township and rural schools should be a priority, especially primary schools where our children are not taught seriously. They come to high schools unprepared.At grade 12 they still struggle to do simple arithmetic.If we can't liberate our children from illeteracy, then let's shut down the government.Schools are not resourced.Why does it have to take so long to improve the education of our children? Let's start to focus our energies where it matters most,EDUCATION,EDUCATION...

  • Bulkalf - 2011-06-30 22:59

    Ha ha haaa ! Ons jeug is onnosel of dit is nou bewys dat die Onderwys daarmee heen is !!!

  • Langklower - 2011-06-30 23:15

    Disappointed! This idiotic education system will be with us for a long time! Who in power want to really change it - an educated population will stop voting ANC!

  • pitbull - 2011-07-01 00:14

    What would one expect with the role models of JZ and Juliaarse Mampara. The youth think they can get away with a big mouth and stupidity.

  • - 2011-07-01 07:10

    Zuma, where would your results fit in if you had to write a grade 4 exam? No. I am too harsh now. Make it grade 1.

  • Stanley Black - 2011-07-01 07:49

    As a South African this is an issue that I feel is not given the attention it should. It need everyday South Africans to formulate opinions on it and for those opinions to be debated and commented on as a society. is somewhere you can do all that, go check it our submitting and commenting is easy and requires no registration.

  • johan - 2011-07-01 07:49


  • tiger - 2011-07-01 08:12

    and this comes from a guy with grade 5 education.

  • sainsaudi - 2011-07-01 08:29

    Having recently taught in a South African public and independent schools, I was somewhat shocked by the low standards, not only in the course material, but also in the quality of teachers, who seemed more intent on conducting campaigns against each other in the form of bullying, gossiping and harassment than getting to grips with their subject knowledge. I worked under principals and directors who condoned such behaviour or even conducted it themselves against their own personnel. There were primary-school trained teachers and people with a degree but no teaching qualification teaching up to matric, whose subject knowledge was scant or in many cases they would teach only the content they knew, and even that was faulty. There are HODs with two year teachers diplomas and in one case, an HOD who was head of a subject in which he was not qualified, but favoured by management. There was the suspected paedophile, the tipplers,the staffroom toilet coke sniffers, daggarokers, the sex-groomer, the bored rich bitch who bedded matric boys,the adulterous deputy, the crusading butch lesbian hockey coach, the cellphone addicts, the gay blades and the closeted rugby coach... But there were also those who taught and tried hard in the morass in which they found themselves to carry over their subject knowledge and do a good job. Unfortunately, they are the grey people, and the others, in some form of school management. And if a grey person shone, his/her career was killed.Sad but true.

  • JadedJay - 2011-07-01 08:56

    How can we expect the youth to care about education when they aspire to be like leaders that have no education and use connections and thuggery to get where they want to...

  • Julian - 2011-07-01 09:52

    Ja stop giving them houses and give them education.....

  • VELOCITY - 2011-07-01 09:59

    Siestog, an illiterate like Showerhead commenting about education! Yet at the same time they want to make sure that the architect of this disaster that is education, Kader Asmall is given a hero's send off. Shame, while these morons are stumbling about in the mess they created, a certain race group in this country sweeps the top honours board year after year with multiple A's on their report cards. Wake up black people, the white people are still quietely beating you at everything while you fumble around screwing up your own future. We would help you, but you don't want to be helped. There is no cure for stupidity.

  • zistros - 2011-07-01 11:00

    oh flip.. there we go again realy now jz and juju have no idea in education strategy since them selves they have no sense of education especiouly numercy. it's high time we get educated government officials who will educationaly assist with this country's growth.

  • amabok - 2011-07-01 11:23

    The ANC needs the masses uneducated and illiterate - ignorance is easier to control. What Zuma meant to say is that he is "disappointed" the illeteracy rate is not lower! "35% literate..what...eish too high"

  • bob - 2011-07-01 11:50


  • tut - 2011-07-01 12:01

    As disappointing as the performance of the ANC. i.e direct impact of government ignorance, corruption, incompetance = manifestation of what we see at ground level. Why so disappointed Mr. President? This is the handywork of you and your greedy cronies.

  • Lab-Rat - 2011-07-01 12:16

    That's a bit rich coming from someone with a grade 4 qualification.

  • Tom - 2011-07-01 13:28

    It appears that, if you want your children to receive a real, a useful, and a useable education - and not this government education policy of 'enstupidation' - you must needs homeschool your children. If you entrust your children's education to the official system, they will not be employable when they 'graduate' one day - it is small wonder indeed that the ruling elite sends their children overseas for education, or to very exclusive private schools that normal people (who pay the taxes that fund this) cannot afford. If government schooling is good enough for the voters' children, then why is it not good enough for the ANC ministers' children? Has nobody here read George Orwell's "Animal Farm"?

  • Sean_H - 2011-07-13 21:24

    I'll never forget the teacher in STD 3 who kept a 48 special in her desk drawer, and occasionally cleaned it while jokes. This was 1987. Back then, the quality of education was very high, in government schools, but most of all, we had RESPECT for our teachers. I think I got my first '6 of the best' in STD 1.

  • cleo.gabede - 2011-07-27 20:55

    I'm very disappointed @ most, so called "educated", people commenting on the president's disappointment & the minister's sadness on the results, from grade(s) 1-6, except Barney Stinson's opinion(s). Instead of proposing solutions, many people, engage on a what is called: 'Straw-man fallacy ' (briefly defined, figuratively as: playing a man instead of a ball). As a future leader (since I'm currently registered with one of a recognised SA's university), I'm sadned 2C that some equiped people write trivially, just bcos they can.

  • Dezray - 2011-08-12 14:40

    Well if its so disappointment Mr President then why dont you take the millions of rands that you are paying and more so "giving" to the goverment and make the education in this country free. So that the future of this country can get an education and be able to create more jobs? What happened to the statement about making education free and taking money from us tax payers and doing this? NOTHING what a surprise. the money just landed up buying pretty houses and car for your goverment.

  • Patrick - 2012-01-25 12:40

    politician busy experiment with education whilst our child get inferior education, i bet most of the politician's children are at oxform/harvard or equivalent institution. this company SA pty Ltd is run by useless personeels.

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