Our education system is not empowering kids

With education now very much the talking point in the media, might I remind readers of the recent debate about our pupils' generally poor reading and numeracy skills?

With education now very much the talking point in the media, might I remind readers of the recent debate about our pupils' generally poor reading and numeracy skills?

The dilemma does not diminish as pupils progress up the education ladder. Precisely because passing from grade 1 to grade 12 is automatic in our schools, the problem is magnified and becomes entrenched.

A perusal of the grade 12 science and maths papers reveals that an enormous amount of intelligent reading is required before the candidate can even begin to address the questions.

Look at any news report on television about education and what do you see? A teacher scribbling doodles on a dusty chalkboard. You never see a teacher doing an experiment or using any kind of teaching aid to convey a principle. One cannot even dare dream of the children doing anything on their own.

It is precisely this absence of activity, of anything hands-on by the teacher or the pupils that makes a mockery of OBE, robs children of an opportunity to express themselves and makes reading so disconnected from reality that it cripples any understanding of maths or science.

If the latest examples of the FET papers that can be expected in 2008 are anything to go by, their imaginative scope can only make matters much, much worse.

What a pyrrhic victory.

Eddie Jansen, Pretoria

X