More pass because of low standards

WHEN as a South African you read or hear that schools in the entire country have produced a staggering 97,42percent pass rate you feel terrific.

But are our young brothers and sisters really equipped to pursue tertiary education?

In the 80s and early 90s we achieved pass rates of about 50 to 60 percent. What has changed suddenly now?

Does the class of 2009 have a higher IQ or are they brighter than pupils of yesteryear?

If we were to get a 1993 mathematics question paper and ask a 2009 pupil who received a distinction to write the exam, how would he do?

A few months ago there were shocking reports that 50percent of the 2009 first-year students in tertiary institutions were basically illiterate.

Since 1994 the quality of education in this country has been dropping and has now reached its lowest point, hence we have this 97,42 percent pass rate.

Having one school producing 100 percent is understandable, but a 97percent average in the whole country!?

That requires a commission of inquiry. We want our kids to pass but at the same time we also need quality doctors, lawyers, engineers and policemen.

It's a burden on universities to run literacy programmes for first-year students and teaching them to read, write and use correct grammar.

Let's celebrate these high percentages but bear in mind that the exams were engineered in such a way that even the worst student with a learning disability should get a university entrance.

We are building a house on shifting sand.

Tshepo Magolego, Bellevue East