From International Hub – The Guardian - article by Sarah Duff
Youth unemployment rates are worryingly high, yet education policy and culture make higher education a priority for students, says Sarah Duff.
Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images
“The end of the first week of teaching in the South African academic year is an experience that any academic at any university around the world would recognise: the chaos of finding timetables and new lecture venues …
…In January, Angie Motshekga, the minister for basic education, announced with some fanfare that 70.2% of the pupils who sat the examinations for the national senior certificate – usually referred to as matric – passed. In a country with high levels of deprivation and poor resource allocation, this appears to be a magnificent achievement.
Unfortunately, the celebrations hid a few worrying facts. In 2011, according to the well-respected NGO, Equal Education, … of the 923,463 pupils who began grade 1 in 2000, only 496,090 took matric in 2011, meaning that nearly half dropped out during their school career.” Therefore of … “all those who began school in 2000, the real matric pass rate falls to 38%. ” This is indeed a very worrying fact.
“…despite the fact there are about 600,000 unemployed graduates in South Africa, university education is seen as the only pathway to employment. I would rather the department of higher education and training invested in FET colleges …”
However, I would like to point out that these moves are already taking place – see South African Education Green Paper. This is a major focus of Dr Nzimande, Minister of Education. The Green Paper is available for download at the following link which also has a great article: Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme: http://www.scaprogramme.org.za/2012/02/the-green-paper-for-post-school-education-and-training-in-south-africa/
To read more of Sarah Duff’s article follow the link below:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/higher-education-network-blog/2012/apr/18/south-africa-vocational-training?newsfeed=true (Accessed 18/04/2012).