Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way…..when you teach the children teach em the very best you can. ~ Harold Melvin and the blue notes.
Don’t you find it mediocre that 30% merits a pass mark in the education system of this country? To be exact, to pass Grade 12 – which is a school leaving level in South Africa – you will need to obtain a minimum of 30% for three of the subjects written and 40% for another three. That is approximately an average of 35%. At UCT a 35% merits what is termed ‘duly performance refused or DPR, in Stellenbosch a ‘Kwal-nie’ will decorate your academic transcript and in any other institutions of higher learning you will just not get ‘predicate’. A DPR, A ‘Kwal-nie’ or ‘do not qualify for predicate’ is what guarantees a pass mark in matric. A rather traumatizing discovery to say the least!
Who is at fault? who is to blame?
It is a worrisome factor that many learners drop mathematics at Grade 12 level for Mathematical Literacy, at the counsel of their teachers of course to push up matric pass rate. In her recent talk in honour of the late freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu, Dr Mamphela Ramphele expressed a rather poignant view on the issue of learners taking Mathematical Literacy at Grade 12 level. She said to quote her verbatim “Maths literacy… what is that? It’s worse than the arithmetic I did under Bantu education.”
Why is South Africa randomising the future of the young like these? Why do we accept this to prevail under a new democratic dispensation. Doesn’t this inspire laziness? I completely understand that the future cannot be predicted hence its randomness, but can a pass mark be randomised? I do not see how can an average mark of 35% warrant a pass under any normal circumstances?
With such a mediocre standard it comes as a surprise to myself that we expect the economy of South Africa to grow, flourish and prosper yet we do not produce intelligent human capital to work it. The naked truth of this trajectory is that this pass mark is mediocre, deceptive and it consigns thousands of those who achieve it to a life of hopelessness, helplessness and holds no promise to access higher education, employment nor a better life.
Our standard to pass matric is way too low, it is mediocre in every sense of the word. Do we expect these pupil who pulls off an average of 35% to go on pursue glittering careers or become newspaper columnists? Are we joking, are we kidding the poor? Are we gambling with our children’s future?
It makes me question whether these people who draft these policies do listen to music? Maybe the day they take a deliberate decision to do so a more pragmatic solution to this educational dilemma will surface. When they do decide to amend the current pass rate requirement, I urge them to listen to Whitney Houston’s ‘Greatest Love of all’ and take nothing but this:
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Who do we hold accountable in this situation?
In conclusion, our high school education system is mentally-agonising both in character and in form!