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).
University of South Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Herkimer, N.Y. — From Little Falls Times – Article: By Nichole Grant
‘Educators from the University of South Africa presented on the topic:
“South Africa in Transition: The Potential Impact of Higher Education on Cultural and Economic Prosperity”
at Herkimer County Community College on Wednesday. The university is in transition from traditional teaching methods to the new technological signature course project.
UNISA’s course work is being redesigned by several educators from UNISA as well as by HCCC Professor of Social Science William Pelz…
“The University of South Africa is implementing fundamental pedagogical and curricular delivery improvements that will have a positive impact on their students…
UNISA Instructional Designer Marinkie Matiope said, “prior to 1994 based on skin color teachers were taught differently. White teachers were taught for four years and black for two years. Because of this, many teachers have been ill prepared and this is a huge problem…”
According to O’ Hara, “Faculty and students are excited and desperate for the signature course project.” UNISA students will be able to register for the new signature course classes in 2013.’
Media Statement by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr B.E. Nzimande, MP
Pretoria, 12th January 2012
Part of this statement focuses on the fact that three million youths between the ages of 18 – 24 are in no kind of training, nor are they in the labour market. This poses a massive problem for the South African society as a whole.
“A major problem in the system as a whole is that provision of post-school education and training is inadequate in quantity, diversity and, in many but not all instances, quality. Approximately three million young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are not accommodated in either the education and training system or the labour market, thus preventing many of them from fully participating in shaping a democratic South Africa as informed citizens. This is an appalling waste of human potential, and a potential source of serious social instability.”
It can be seen that the skills training needs of South Africa as a whole are enormous and challenging. New moves are afoot to address these needs with ideas for the reworking and re-conceptualising of the system.
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