matric

matric

  • Highest Matric Pass Rate Since 1994

    Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, has announced that the national pass rate for the 2013 National Senior Certificate has increased from 4.3 percent to 78.2 percent – the highest figure since 1994.

    Motshekga celebrates matriculants for their hard work and sleepless nights.

    "I congratulate the class of 2013 for being the best class since the advent of democracy, and encourage every learner to go further than their predecessors and strive to excel in higher education, the workplace and in your general contributions as South African citizens”, states Motshekga.

    To read the article titled, “Highest Pass Rate in 20 Years,” click here.

    Source: 
    All Africa
  • Are the Ministerial Task Team Recommendations Good Enough?

    The recently reported recommendations made by the Ministerial Task Team are indeed a step in the right direction for education in South Africa, however there has to be an appreciation that the challenges are also endemic in the system.  For example, the recommendations do not even begin to scratch the surface when it comes to the question of the high dropout rate before matric.

    One is very happy that the report by the Ministerial Task Team agrees with public opinion concerning the quality of matric. But one cannot help but ask, are these recommendations good enough?

    Lowering the minimum pass in matric to 30 percent was also seen as deliberate doubt on the abilities and potential of learners. For the majority of learners, a solid school education represents the only means available for ending the legacy of family poverty. But raising the minimum pass should also be accompanied by improvement in teacher competence, better infrastructure for the many schools that lack the basics, leadership that is accountable and an active participation of parents in the governance of the school.

    Another thorny issue has been around the credibility of testing and marking. One of the achievements of the Department of Basic Education in recent years has been putting in place strong security measures around the exams so that the exam papers are not easily leaked, and therefore compromise the integrity of the exam.

    Several concerns are still lingering in the testing and marking system. One is about the competence of the markers. This is one issue that is strongly contested by the labour movement. Whenever it is raised, it does get them hot under the collar. Despite the contestations it should be noted that part of the problem with exams is with the open-ended questions which present a challenge to the markers. Additionally, there are markers who provide false information about their qualifications and experience.

    Another complication is the School Based Assessment which makes up 25 percent of the final exam mark. This allocation has been extensively manipulated by some schools and to a large extent, has brought on sharply the debates of reliability and validity around the matric exams.

    For those who struggled with mathematics during their schooling or did not do mathematics at all, this argument of offering mathematics as compulsory for all schools does not seem to hold any merit. There is a sentiment that seems to be exaggerated by these adults who either failed mathematics or struggled with it. It is even worse when some teachers make mathematics out to be one of those life-threatening experiences.

    Just to put things into perspective, there was a time in the old system when learners had the choice to not do mathematics or some of them opted for what used to be then called Standard Grade. Unfortunately most of the public schools took this seemingly easy option, to the detriment of leaners that were in the schooling system then.  

    Another factor is that a lot of international benchmarking tests either use mathematics or science to measure cognitive ability. South Africa has been found wanting in several of these tests. There is merit in a view that says mathematics is a life-long gift, though I might not have a science to prove my point, but knowledge in mathematics allows one to be logical in their reasoning, easily associate and differentiate issues and of course, the ability to count does come in handy along the way.

    On a serious note, mathematics broadens one’s horizon for further study. It is a fact that you will not be accepted to pursue certain qualifications without it. However, one should emphasise that mathematics is not matric; children should be encouraged to start learning mathematics from lower grades.

    There is merit in the argument that life orientation should not be a test subject in matric. There are those who even argue that life orientation is a waste of time. On the contrary, life orientation is important because it is about life skills, it is about values and norms, about civic education and citizenship education, it is about influencing behaviour so that learners can protect themselves against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, etc.

    What seems to be holding water is the view that it should not be a test subject for matric. The problem is that the matric test is through a School Based Assessment and it was observed earlier that the integrity of the marking is questionable.

    There is a worrying number of students who drop out of university in their first year and also quite a large number of those who do not finish their studies. The problem is partially through the schooling system that prepares leaners to pass matric; though they may lack the subject knowledge, due to the learning route imposed on them. Because of the excessive pressure placed on matric, learners prepare for matric examinations through question papers; they know the answer but lack the understanding on how the answer was derived.

    However tougher university entrance requirements can also be abused by some of the universities who use ‘high standards’ to control the number of students who should be enrolled for a particular course. There is a need therefore for absolute transparency on how these tougher university entrance requirements are administered. Especially when it also requires learners to write entrance tests, whose credibility should be subject to scrutiny.

    - Themba Mola is the chief operations officer of the Kagiso Trust.
    Author(s): 
    Themba Mola
  • Poor Performance in Maths, Science, Physics

    The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says only 20 percent of pupils writing matric mathematics and physical science examinations achieve a pass mark of more than 50 percent.
     
    SAIRR The Institute says the proportion of pupils achieving a pass mark in mathematics of between 70 and 100 percent has fallen to 5.9 percent in 2011 from 8.3 percent in 2008 when the National Senior Certificate was introduced.
     
    The organisation’s analysis, based on data provided by the Department of Basic Education, also shows that more than half of pupils writing the mathematics paper over the period have actually achieved a mark below 30 percent.
     
    To read the article titled, “Only 20 percent of maths, physics matriculants exceed 50 percent pass mark: SAIRR,” click here.

    Source: 
    SABC News
  • Living Through Learning: Mathematics Educator

    Living through Learning
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Thursday, January 31, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment
    Living Through Learning (LTL) is a nonprofit organisation operating in the education sector assisting disadvantaged youth and educators. LTL assists specifically in the literacy, technical subject assistance and educator training arenas.

    The Tertiary Education Access Channel (TEACH) project to assists 40 matriculants of 2012 bridge the gap between their high school and technical university studies.

    LTL seeks to appoint a maths professional as Mathematics Educator for an innovative post-matric bridging project, based in Cape Town.

    The person will implement maths curriculum with Grade 12 learners and hold regular testing of learners.

    Requirements:
    • Experiencing working in professional maths field or as an ex-teacher;
    • Extensive understanding and ability to apply maths;
    • Ability to teach in an innovative, creative manner.
    Starting date:  1 April 2013.

    Salary: Negotiable.

    To apply, submit a CV and motivation letter to lindsay@livingthroughlearning.org.za.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Living Through Learning's website is not operational.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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  • Living Through Learning: Volunteer Bookkeeper

    Living through Learning
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Monday, December 10, 2012
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment
    Living Through Learning (LTL) is a nonprofit organisation operating in the education sector assisting disadvantaged youth and educators. LTL assists specifically in the literacy, technical subject assistance and educator training arenas.

    LTL seeks to appoint a part-time Volunteer Bookkeeper, based in Cape Town.

    LTL has currently two main projects underway and is in need of a part-time bookkeeper to assist with account payments, project budgeting, salaries etc.

    LTL is looking for someone who is willing to contribute to society through voluntary assistance.

    Thank you for caring about the education of our youth!

    To apply, contact Lindsay,Tel: 021 761 2842 or e-mail to lindsay@livingthroughlearning.org.za if you're keen to assist.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Living Through Learning's website is not operational.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies..

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  • Living Through Learning: English Facilitator

    Living through Learning
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Friday, January 11, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    Employment
    Living Through Learning (LTL) is a nonprofit organisation operating in the education sector assisting disadvantaged youth and educators. LTL assists specifically in the literacy, technical subject assistance and educator training arenas.

    LTL seeks to appoint an English Facilitator, based in Cape Town, for an innovative post-matric bridging project.

    LTL will be running a post-matric bridging college for learners to bridge them into technical degrees at University. The project comprises a soft skills and subject intervention component.

    Requirements:
    • Passionate about English to assist with soft skills and English facilitation;
    • Passionate and make learning fun and practical;
    • Preferable able to understand isiXhosa (as majority of learners will be first language isiXhosa speakers);
    • Preferably familiar with current Grade 12 English syllabus;
    • Excellent grasp of grammar and fundamentals of English.

    Starting date: February 2013 with training starting in Januray 2013.

    To apply, submit a CV and motivational letter to lindsay@livingthroughlearning.org.za.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

    Living Through Learning's website is not operational.

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies.

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  • Call to Increase Matric Pass Mark

    Pressure is mounting on the government to improve the quality of education, with civil society calling for the Matric pass mark to be increased from 33 to 50 percent.

    The call, which is led by the Citizens Movement for Social Change - a coalition of civil society activists aimed at influencing public policy - also wants the government to review its relationship with the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU).

    Speaking at an Old Mutual corporate social investment forum in Johannesburg this week, renowned social activist and former World Bank Human Development Network director Dr Mamphela Ramphele, confirmed that the movement will launch a campaign aimed at ‘supporting government in improving the quality of education but also hold the authorities accountable’.

    To read the article titled, “Call to raise matric pass mark to 50 percent,” click here.

    Source: 
    Sowetan Live
  • Matric Pass Rate Welcomed With Caution

    Political parties, trade unions and education advocacy groups have welcomed the class of 2011’s matric pass rate with caution.

    The South African Democratic Trade Union said the results showed an improvement, but that inequalities still plagued schools and provinces.

    The union pointed out that, “The results reflect an inequality in our society. Our sense is that issues of historical disadvantaged and poverty associated with race, class and the rural-urban divide are still prevalent.”

    To read the article titled, “Race, class, rural-urban divide still a problem,” click here.

    Source: 
    The Citizen
  • Matric Results Won’t Be Published this Year

    The Basic Education Department will announce that matric results will not be published in newspapers and on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) call line, after media houses missed the deadline to apply for rights to publish.

    The department's spokesperson, Panyaza Lesufi, says they will be meeting with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) to break the news.

    SACP Youth League spokesperson, Mafika Mndebele, sees the department’s decision as a victory. Mndebele points out that, “It’s a victory for us as the YCL whatever the reason the department is putting forward is acceptable to us.”

    To read the article titled, “Matric results won’t be published this year,” click here.

    Source: 
    SABC News
  • The Significance of Career Guidance for High School Learners

    South Africa is getting obsessed with the improved matric results while no attention is given to career guidance. Lack of career guidance at our schools is evident when year after year the majority of these matriculants flock to universities while further education (FET) training colleges are far from achieving government’s target of enrolling one million learners by 2015.

    Despite losing days of learning due to last year’s public sector strike, one can safely say the 67.8 percent pass rate reflects the level of commitment on the part of the matriculants, teachers and the Department of Basic Education.

    However, a large number of learners will not be able to pursue their studies at institutions of higher learning due to lack of career guidance at schools. Proper career guidance would have assisted many of these students with early applications at universities and/or further education and training colleges, selection of career paths at an early stage, and with more career options other than enrolling at these institutions. I strongly believe that proper career guidance would have at least made this situation manageable for learners and the institutions of higher learning.

    Our education system should prepare the learners at least from Grade 10 onwards when it comes to choosing career paths. In order to achieve this, the schools should dedicate the beginning of every year to career guidance or include it in the curriculum. This will allow learners to select subjects that are in line with their future plans. Moreover, career guidance could go a long way in giving the learners the confidence to decide where they want to be in future.

    In my encounters, I came across a number of matriculants who did not have a clue about their career ambitions. This does not paint a good picture for the entire country because it means that teachers do not prepare the learners for post-matric studies or they lack the capacity to offer career guidance to learners.

    I recall one learner declaring that she does not intend furthering her education because she comes from an impoverished family. How many of these learners know the existence of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)? Is the Department of Higher Education and Training doing enough to encourage matriculants to study at institutions of higher learning? The reality is, poverty should never stand in the way of matriculants while funding schemes like NSFAS exist.

    The NSFAS should also benefit those matriculants who are currently sitting at home with nothing to do. While we encourage matriculants to study subjects such as Mathematics and Science, we should always remember that some of these matriculants have good marks in these subjects. In situations like this, the Department of Higher Education and Training should take a stand and inform high school learners about the availability of bursaries and loans from government, the private sector and foreign funding agencies. Lack of information or access to information in rural areas has also been a contributing factor. How many of the rural areas in South Africa have libraries?

    In a press statement earlier this month, Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande, presented all the right topics to navigate the learners through career options. The statement covered topics with information on universities, FET colleges, financial assistance, skills development programmes, adult education centres and career advice services.

    I am of the view that such topics should be covered in career exhibitions whereby public institutions of higher learning and funding agencies are invited to provide information about their programmes to learners.

    Further education and training colleges should also encourage learners to enroll with them in order to reduce the influx of learners to the universities. Learners need to be made aware that FET colleges also offer programmes that could drive the growth of our economy. These programmes, which most of them are referred to as ‘scarce skills’, have the potential to equip them with the necessary skills to drive the economic growth of this country in future. This will help turn South Africa into a country which will no longer import skilled professionals.

    Life Orientation teachers should take up the duty of career guidance. In addition, the government should deploy career counsellors to schools to offer career guidance to learners on a full-time basis. If government cannot afford employing career counsellors, it is best to have at least one career centre that will cater for schools in a specific region. In order to realise this, government should collaborate with communities, the private sector, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.

    Standing together as a nation in navigating the right education for the careers of our learners could help build a country free from social ills such as poverty, unemployment and crime.

    - Phumla Pearl Mhlanga is an intern at SANGONeT.
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