Education on learning curve

Just when it was hoped that the public education system was turning the corner, more pupils failed matric this year.

Just when it was hoped that the public education system was turning the corner, more pupils failed matric this year.

Fewer attained endorsements, merit passes and distinctions.

A total of 85830 pupils - out of 528 525 candidates - passed the 2006 senior certificate examination with endorsement. To enter South African universities candidates must pass at least five subjects. Of these at least four must be on the higher grade, with an aggregate of at least 40percent.

The number of pupils passing higher grade maths and physical science also dropped.

This is bad news given the emphasis on science and mathematics education in terms of the nation's human capital development agenda.

Also, we are going to have the perennial problem of thousands of failed matric pupils, unable to do anything meaningful with their lives.

Many more are going to stay at home simply because they can't afford the high fees charged by universities.

Yes, the situation is dire. But there is no need to despair.

Yesterday, education minister Naledi Pandor said there was a need to work smarter to fix our education system.

We urge her and her colleagues to build on the good work done over the past 12 years, that consisted mainly of the elimination of bantu education and its attendant problems of inequality.

X