When I first read the article “Maths and Science vs Morals and Values” by Julie Staub, Fundraising Coordinator at OutwardBound (NGO Pulse, No.139), I thought there was a new dark comedy section in NGO Pulse - the kind you find captioned with a cartoon.
In response to what has been described as the cause of the skills crisis in this country, Staub writes: “I believe that we need to teach our youth more about morals and values than maths and science.
Critical Opinion Piece
In a speech promoting literacy, the Minister of Education described education as a “national emergency” and called on teachers, parents, the private sector, unions and learners to participate in providing solutions which cannot be provided solely by the State.
The facts are disturbing. A Grade 3 departmental systemic evaluation revealed literacy scores of 54 percent and listening and comprehension scores of 68 percent. Reading and writing scored 39 percent and numeracy, 30 percent.
Years ago I remember sticking NUSAS stickers on ATM machines which read “Republic Day – no cause to celebrate”. This week is Adult Learners' Week and September the 8th is International Literacy Day. The question that springs to mind is: Is there cause to celebrate? Officially 781 million adults are illiterate in the world, most of them women. In reality this figure is much higher as even more adults are unable to read or write well enough to function effectively in society.