Study Methods Letter
“Improving South Africa one learner at
document is intended to highlight the critical state of
education in South Africa, the social and economic impact on
our youth and our country’s future. How the Ukufunda Study
Methods course can make a positive contribution to changing
the status quo by
empowering all learners with a practical program of self
development, giving them the necessary skills required to
achieve their goals.
One of the
biggest challenges facing our country is education. Without
adequate education designed to meet the needs of a
technologically advanced world, a competitive business
environment and the knowledge that school leavers are
adequately equipped to face these challenges; the future of
South Africa looks bleak. South Africa currently has 26,292
schools, 385 860 teachers and approximately 12 million
learners at any one time. This document is not designed to
offer solutions for the appalling infrastructure and lack of
facilities at the majority of our schools. To highlight a
few : 61% or 16 038 schools use bucket or pit latrines, 17%
or 4 470 schools have no electricity, 76% or 19 940 schools
have no libraries and 68% or 17 879 schools have no
computers. Many schools with computers have no teachers
qualified to teach computer studies.
The majority of
our children attend rural schools (a large portion of these
schools are dysfunctional) and live in poor economic
conditions. Rural and township schools students suffer from
a sense of inferiority and a lack of confidence and
efficacy, brought about by the perception that students
attending formerly ‘ white’ or other city schools get better
‘education’ (they are probably right), are cleverer and will
get all the good jobs and opportunities when they
Many of our
children work very hard and diligently at school with the
anticipation of finishing Matric. They hope blindly that
they will be equipped with the necessary skills and
knowledge to participate in our democracy and make something
of their lives, a meaningful contribution to society. Most
have the aspirations of a better life, to wealth, health and
happiness, to own a car, to live in a nice house in the
suburbs, to be employed or self employed, to raise a family
and to have a life they can be proud of. Is this too much
to ask? Unfortunately the harsh reality is that these
aspirations are reserved for very few.
Around +- 35% of
the +- 600,000 learners who write Matric every year will
fail, that’s 210 000 learners and the 65% or 390 000 that do
pass, do so without the foundation skills or grades needed
to benefit from further education to secure anything but the
most menial jobs. More disturbing is that dysfunctional
schools are unable to socialize our young people into
attitudes of mind required for citizenship in a democracy .
School leavers and dropouts are easy prey to a life of
crime, poverty, corruption and inefficiency. What do they do
when they leave school or matriculate? Walk the streets
looking for “jobs”? Wait for better days? How long can
someone wait? What choices do they have? The answer is, they
don’t have many. Millions of our young people are doing
nothing constructive every day of their lives. People want
to have a purpose, feel self confident, self assured, feel
like they belong, but without adequate education or skills
doing nothing becomes their daily routine.
The South African
government spent R105,5 billion on education in
2007/8 budget . With 65% or 368 078 matrics passing and 35%
or 196 697 matrics failing with only 15% or 84 716 learners
passing with endorsements, surely not a good investment.
Something is wrong. Not to mention the billions of rands
invested in previous years with equally poor results for
Matric and every other grade evaluated, see statistics and
Table 1 below .
into a dysfunctional education system without making
meaningful changes will only see similar results year after
year and wave after wave of unskilled, illiterate school
leavers without a future.
and Local Evaluations
1999 Grade 4 Monitoring Learning Achievement
by UNESCO & UNICEF Numeracy/Literacy. Countries included:
Mali, Niger, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi and Botswana.
South Africa came last.
2002 HSRC administered the International Maths
& Science Study (TIMSS) Grade 8 level. South Africa
2003 Southern & East African Consortium for
Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) (TIMSS) Maths 2003
incl 43 countries. South Africa came last.
Department of Education Systemic Evaluation
Grade 6 Maths 2004 found that 62% formerly white
school’s learners were at a Grade 6 maths level, with
4% of (Coloured) DEC school learners and a
shocking 0.1% of Black (DET) school learners
were at the required Grade 6 level.
Department of Education Systemic Evaluation
saw 34 015 Grade 6 learners evaluated in 2005 with a mean
score for Languages of 35%, Maths
27% and Science 41%. Further more only
12% of learners achieved the required level or
higher and 81% were at the ‘not achieved’
60% of South
Africa’s University students fail to graduate.
66% of South
Africa’s University of Technology students fail to graduate
83 % of white and
only 33% of black students attending university graduate
within 5 years.
results are directly related to poor primary and secondary
education levels, that have a direct impact on the number of
qualified professionals graduating from our universities
that are required by our country to offer world class
service and professionalism within the education, health
care, engineering, law, sciences and government sectors to
name a few.
term goal 2010
To engage with the right people who can make
this strategy a reality.
To teach South African’s 2010 Matrics
practical study methods that will equip them with the
necessary skills to succeed.
To empower between 186 and 372 unemployed
black graduates in the Eastern Cape to teach the +- 64 000
Matrics as well as the deployment of competent managers,
trainers, QA and administration personnel.
goals 3-5 years
Engage with the right partners and training
all of South Africa’s Grade 12s, resulting in the
empowerment of over 2400 unemployed graduates as certified
Ukufunda Study Methods lecturers/business owners.
To teach the Ukufunda Study Methods teacher
course to all of South Africa’s 385 860 teachers, starting
with those who teach Matrics and then Grade 8 teachers, so
as to align the teachers with the students new found skills.
To teaching the Ukufunda Study Methods course
to all South Africa’s Grade 8 learners every year as a
bridging course to high school.
Increasing self-efficacy, the belief that one
is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain
Realization of one’s full potential.
Improved thinking, problem solving and
Improved communication skills.
Read with speed and understanding.
Reduction in study time.
Indefinite retention of information.
Accurate recall of information.
Better quality of life.
An education system that delivers world class
The equipping and skilling of the next
generation of leaders, pioneers, business people and
entrepreneurs with the ability, knowledge and efficacy to
contribute and build South Africa into a competitive growth
economy, reduced crime, and a country united in purpose and
prosperity not in despair and poverty.
Study Methods course taught to all Matrics and Grade 8s
will result in waves of well equipped learners, improved
school grades, improved pass rates at our tertiary
institutions, more graduates, an increase in skilled
qualified resources entering the job market, improved
productivity and economic growth. The success of their
future and our country is in our hands for such a short
time, lets make a difference and leave it in theirs.
I look to a
future were the effort of an entire population is able to
contribute in a meaningful way to our country, where there
is no shortage of resources in critical service areas, were
opportunity is abundant and the spirit of a winning
productive nation prevails. I look forward to a great South
Africa, anything else is unacceptable.
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