We must fix education together

22 December 2017 | Opinion

The just released Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) examination results are disappointing to say the least. Our education system has over the years experienced a worrying trend, which has seen many pupils lagging behind the national average in terms of their attainment levels. With a mere 22 462 or 55.3% qualifying for promotion to Grade 11 from a total of over 40 000 full-time candidates who sat for the Grade 10 examinations, it is sad that over 18 000 failed to qualify.

There are clearly significant gaps particularly in knowledge of subjects like Accounting and the different languages offered at junior secondary level. And then you have the challenge of learners failing to turn up to write subjects that they have registered for. We believe a lot could have been done to avoid this drop – albeit a slight one – in the pass rate. We have not yet turned the corner in education and the below average performances being dished out on a yearly basis calls for an urgent review within the system. The inconsistent showing in Grade 10 can be attributed to many other factors within the system, and perhaps we should focus on addressing the problems which raises serious questions about the effectiveness of our schooling system. There will never be quick fixes in education.

Also, the huge focus on Grade 10 and matric results is not productive, thus serious efforts must be made to ensure that we have an inclusive system designed to take into account the wide diversity of needs on the ground. The private sector, which has a key stake in education, should also assist the government in addressing some of these serious challenges affecting education. If we are serious about the future of this country and continuing the transition to new standards, we must include everyone as a key contributor to the process of once and for all improving our education. A good education system is a great asset to any country, because it produces a qualified, skilled and disciplined workforce to develop the country.

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