OBE news is good news

WE welcome the news that the widely-criticised Outcome-Based Education system is to be replaced.

WE welcome the news that the widely-criticised Outcome-Based Education system is to be replaced.

In great haste and with inadequate conceptualisation and planning, OBE was introduced into a thoroughly bewildered and woefully under-prepared education system in 1998.

Today, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is to announce the new education curriculum that will see the demise of the controversial OBE, brainchild of then Education Minister Kader Asmal.

Motshekga told the National Assembly last year that there had been considerable criticism of OBE, and that teachers complained of being overloaded with administrative work.

OBE was unsuccessfully tried in both the UK and the US.

It is a system that is good on paper as it addresses the major concerns that the industry has with regard to education.

It seeks to empower a school leaver who has a certificate with a clue to practical application of the theoretical knowledge gained. However, there is no control over when, how and most importantly by whom the project is done.

Many of these projects are done by parents, friends or relatives, with some information downloaded from the Internet.

Pupils are then graded, based on these projects that they themselves never earned.

Also, the administration of OBE on the part of the teachers is cumbersome and time-consuming. They are provided with bare minimum training. They spend less than 50% of their time in the classroom, meaning pupils get less learning time.

Teachers are suffering under an increased workload while pupils are suffering from reduced access to teachers.

We hope that, with 100 days left before matric pupils sit for their year-end examinations, these news inspire us all.

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