The Economist has an article on education in South Africa. Some of the facts from the article:
- South Africa spends about 5% of GDP on education – more than any other country in Africa
- About 50% of students drop out before achieving a Matric
- Only 15% of Matrics get marks good enough to enter university
- The Matric pass rate has fallen from 73% in 2003 to 61% in 2009
The results are drastically different for white and black students. For example, matric mathematics results are enormously different between the two races.
The article goes on to speculate about the causes of these dismal results. Obviously the historical impact of Apartheid policies on black education is mentioned. The OBE initiative also cops some blame.
But why would results be getting worse even 15 years after Apartheid and despite affirmative action programs?
The Economist speculates that the appalling quality of teachers is also to blame. The article notes that teachers’ unions prevent teachers from being evaluated – a sure recipe for bad teachers. If someone isn’t evaluated on performance, then they aren’t going to perform.
Teachers really should be evaluated on their performance – just like the rest of us.