Education system fails learners before matric

Dr Pieter Groenewald

"South Africa’s education system fails the youth long before they write matric and denies the country of essential building blocks for its future,” Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the parliamentary leader of the Freedom Front Plus, says.

The labour market requires more from a matric certificate than that and those leaving school are under a wrong impression if they think that a matric certificate will ensure a job for them.

The disruptive role of teacher unions in the education crisis should, in particular, be sorted out.

The real tragedy of the results however lie in that nearly 1 261 827 learners had started school in 2002 (last year’s matric class) and that approximately 562 112 in total had written the matric exams.

That means that only 44,5% of the learners had completed their school career.

According to international norms, the absolute minimum percentage of learners completing their schooling, is 65%. In developed countries such as Finland and Sweden, the figure is 98%.

According to Dr. Groenewald, the lack of discipline in some schools, which include both learners as well as some teachers, should be seen as one of the major reasons for the education problem.

In addition, the poor quality of some teachers also plays a large role and it is largely as a result of big trade unions which protect them. Poverty and social problems also have a big influence on the number of learners who do not complete their school careers, Dr. Groenewald says.

“The education system in itself is not so bad, but there are many factors and role players which have a negative impact on the workability and success of it, such as trade unions as well as corruption and poor service delivery in the department.

“If the problems are addressed purposefully and with strong leadership, the situation can be turned around. But it cannot be postponed any longer. The time has come to act decisively,” Dr. Groenewald said.


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