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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Epic Fail

Tell em again how the education is South Africa is better now than it was during Apartheid? Tell me again how we should be proud of our matrics who managed to pass (by working very hard) with 30%? Tell me again why I should in any way look at those kids with a matric certificate as educated? And tell me again how universities need to make sure that they make space for as many "lennas" as possible who finish matric with a "bachelor" pass?

If you attempt do any of those things even halfway convincingly then I should redirect you to a facility for the mentally impaired where you can have your brain rewired to think like normal people. I say this for one very specific reason - even so-called straight-A students are failing university entrance exams. This is apparently because they struggle with basic arithmetic and grammar. I ask you, with tears in my eyes, how the hell can you give someone a matric certificate which indicates that they have performed adequately at school level and then even endorse those passes as worthy of university entrance when they cannot even add and write in full sentences? 

Now I will probably be called a racist and pessimist and right-wing nutcase for saying this - but these kids are all useless and will add nothing to the country. And I say this because they are completely uneducated. They are not even trainable! This is evident from the fact that after, at least, 12 years of schooling they STILL cannot read or write properly. 

Now please, go on to say that this is a poverty issue, I dare you! This has nothing whatsoever to do with poverty. This is simply the complete failure of the education system (proudly brought to you by the great minds of those ANC criminals) to provide even the most basic of quality education. They have dumbed the system down to a fraction of its former self. They have allowed people with no formal qualifications to play teacher with young minds. They have allowed unions to run roughshod over them at a distinct disadvantage to the kids. And Bantu Education was worse??? Pull the other leg.

Poverty has a minimal effect on education. Teachers should be able to teach WITHOUT textbooks and Xeroxed worksheets. They should be able to use nothing more than a blackboard and lesson outline to teach kids. The same way they did it in centuries past. Why is it so wrong to expect students and teachers to take the learning seriously? Why should we not expect children to take notes and to do homework? Teachers should be expected to mark that homework too. The worst effect poverty can have on a child is the fact that they may not be eating properly, in which case I'm almost positive that the ANC government promised to star feeding schemes at these schools? But wait, that money was stolen by principals and teachers or else never made it to the schools at all! 

But, I hear you say, parents are uneducated and therefore cannot help their kids with homework! Really? Now that's an excuse? Parents don't help with homework? Now let me see, my parents helped me with my homework in the following ways: 
1. They listened to me read; (bantu education taught kids to read very well)
2. They provided the tools for me to do projects; (ie library access - public - and the materials) and
3. Oh wait... I was expected to do my own homework! 
And I managed to pass matric with distinction (ie: 6 A's and B) and I am not the most intelligent person on the planet - I just worked damn hard (while playing sports and taking part in cultural activities as well and school leadership). And we were also not rich, so I went to a government school, my school fees were never paid on time and we often went home to a house without power - especially after my dad lost his job to make way for BEE candidates. Your excuses are now nullified.

But wait! Schools somehow seem to have endless funds to teach kids about sex! What sex they can have. How to please your partner. How to please yourself. Homosexual sex. Kinky sex. And a million and one other things in that vein. And then they seem surprised when young girls get pregnant (8 of them  from one school dropped out in the first week of school) or when we discover that over 25% of school girls are HIV positive.

I personally couldn't give a damn what the pass rates are (ie: how many kids are passing). What I do care about is the quality of the pass. Just looking at the difficulty level (the ANC has brought everyone down to the same lower grade level even if they should have been at higher grade) between pre-1994 and post-1994 matric paper it is clear that any kid getting 80% today would at BEST be a 50% student back then. We are breeding whole generations of functionally illiterate and sexually deviant kids that will one day take over the running of the country... God help us all.

Top matrics fail university entry exams: Habib

Thursday 23 January 2014 06:00

Straight "A" matric students are failing university entry exams. It has emerged that even students that get seven distinctions fail to obtain 50% in university entrance exams.

This was revealed by Wits University vice-chancellor, Adam Habib.

He said this at the Sowetan Dialogues held in Soweto on Wednesday night.

Habib says in addition, 55% of those who make it to university do not complete their degrees.

He says this is because these students struggle with arithmetic and grammar.

"Some of it has to do with technical skills, reading, mathematics, they do not have the foundation for a first year degree so we are now unrolling a major programme around identifying students that are struggling and providing them with mentorship and support and we should not delude ourselves that our education system is producing enough quality students so that they can perform," says

Meanwhile, Basic Education Department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi says while it is true that there is a problem of high drop out rates, there were other factors that were not being taken into consideration in this debate.

He says those factors include learners in jail, repetition, learners opting for FET Colleges, private and overseas education, the quality of teaching and learning and lack of remedial support.

Lesufi  came down hard on those who said apartheid pass rates were better.

"Apartheid had what you call higher grade, standard grade and lower grade. And the pass mark of lower grade was 25%. If you check the matric pass at that time it's what you called aggregate pass which means you needed to reach 720 marks for you to pass regardless of how you perform in other subjects, as long as you have 720 marks you pass."


  1. This article by Habib does not make sense to me. Has it been properly edited?So straight A learners "fail entrance exams" No context given! Why do "straight A" learners write entrance exams in the first place?As part of a study? All students ( including straight A students ) write entrance exams?Straight As in what I may ask? A " staight A student "who has not done maths and science but maths lit for example may fail an entrance exam for a science faculty? ( Is thet meant to be "rocket science?)

    The response by Lesufi is a total untruth.The old matric depended on aggregate marks as well as at least 5 subjects passed as well as certain rules of combination to get a university entrance pass.You would certainly not pass if you got 90% in three subjects as well as zero in the next 3 ( six subjects were needed). You could in principle get the minimum aggregate for passing this was but you would certainly not pass

    1. Hi Thanda, yes, all university students write entrance exams to gauge whether or not they will be able to cope with first year university. Its a standard - I remember writing my entrance exam at Tuks in 2004. The result was that those who received less than 50% for that test were required to take certain bridging courses in English and maths as first year subjects.

      Straight A students are those who receive 80% or more for all of the subjects that they were registered for in matric. And you can be forgiven for thinking that they should be exempt from taking the entrance exam but as we can see, many of these matriculants cannot read or write and have massive problems with basic arithmetic (nevermind full blown maths). And I would really hope that no university would accept a student into a course for which their subjects do not qualify them - like you said, a child who took maths lit should not be admitted to a university to study in a science faculty where maths proper is required.

      I agree with your point about the old matric pass the argument was entirely useless so I deemed it irrelevant to respond to. I think what was really meant was that the aggregate pass depended on the student meeting the minimum pass requirements which differed depending on which level the subject was taken at (ie: higher, standard or lower grade). I do know that if you failed at higher grade they would adjust your results down to either a standard or lower grade pass unless you completely failed outright.

      I think the point that the department is missing is the fact that the post-1994 education is inferior and that the quality of the matric has been greatly reduced. I will never understand why the ANC never made the same education that was given to white students, available to all black grade ones from 1994 onward? That would have seemed to me to be the best option - a real starting place for equality and would have eradicated the need for BEE and racial quotas at schools.

  2. Yes, and these students aspire to become lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers etc. A know nothing bunch of idiots. The ANC will never admit that this kind of education is worthless. You can try as hard as you can to fail, but it's impossible under the current education model. Where this will lead to is a good guess. Back in the good old golden days, there was a dedicated group of teachers and a will to ensure that students will succeed.

    1. Its exactly what the ANC want - a completely ignorant voting class. Very useful to them in maintaining power. They are easily manipulated and swayed by emotional rhetoric and will have no idea what the truth is. That way the ANC can spout whatever nonsense they want and the masses will believe it because they don't know any better. And naturally it gives them the opportunity to demonise the white population when their supporters see no improvement in their lives. They studied Hitler very well.