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South Africa Education

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Jenny Stack

on 22 June 2013

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Transcript of South Africa Education

South Africa

Social Fabric
As define by The Free Dictionary Website, apartheid means "A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups." In South Africa there are four groups of people divided by their race: Whites, Africans, Indians, and Coloreds. "They lived in their own separate social political spheres" (Mazurek & Winzer, 2006). Due to the "policy of apartheid, the National Party Government attempted to resettle African people in ethnically distinct homelands out of the major urban areas" (Mazurek & Winzer, 2006). These areas were not desirable places to live, nor for a society to prosper. "These policies bred a spirit of defiance and resistance among people of color and produced what came to be known as the struggle for equal rights and democracy" (Mazurek & Winzer, 2006).
"All South Africans have the right to a basic education, including adult basic education and further education. According to the Bill of Rights of the country's Constitution, the state has an obligation, through reasonable measures, to progressively make this education available and accessible" ("Education in south,"2013).
In South Africa, there are eleven different
languages spoken, however the two most
commonly used languages are English and
Afrikaans. Religious views are also widespread.
The various religions are: Christianity, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim. A larger percentage of the population belongs to Christian churches (southafrica.org).

Children typically start their schooling at grade 0 also referred to as reception year. The stay in school until the ninth grade. From there they have two options. The first option is to enter into Further Education and Training for grades 10th-12th, which can allow them to achieve diplomas and certificates at a college level ("Education in south," 2013). If they chose the first option, then at the completion of the 12th year they will be tested using the Matriculation exam or the Independent Examination Board (IEB) or an alternate test that is equivalent (southafrica.usembassy.gov). The percentage of those who have taken one of these test and passed has grown from 40% in the late 90's to about 73% in 2012 ("Education in south," 2013). The second option is after successfully completing the 9th grade, they can seek employment (southafrica.usembassy.gov).
Educational System
Grading Scale
Successfully passing is considered a 4 on their grading scale (southafrica.usembassy.gov). Students are assessed when they are in grades three, six and nine, to ensure students are gaining a quality education ("Education in south," 2013).
Wild Card
A substantial amount of South Africa's teachers are under-qualified to teach. According to our text, Schooling around the World, in 2001 about 58,000 of the 353,201 teachers in South Africa were not qualified to teach. Between 2001 and 2004 about half of the under-qualified teachers were taking the steps necessary to become qualified (Mazurek & Winzer, 2006).
Major Issues
There are a couple different positives about South Africa's educational system. One positive is that the "General Education and Training also includes Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET), which is available to adults who want to finish their basic education" ("Education in south," 2013). Another positive is the "Action Plan to 2014." This action plan has a new curriculum which has a focus of numeracy and literacy. The premise is to begin closing the educational gap between schools that are fully resourced and those that are very limited in their resources. This plan is also designed to improve the education of the teachers ("Education in south," 2013).
Once the new government was in place, and the educational system began under going changes, student/teacher ratios went from 20:1 to as high as 80:1. After further adjustments were made, primary schools went to 40:1 and secondary schools went to 35:1 (Mazurek & Winzer, 2006). Although the ratio has dropped back down a bit, they are still high numbers for one teacher.
With the new education structure, one problem that arose was with students are have special needs. "Inclusion specifically implies that, wherever possible and practicable, a child's needs will be met in the normal, mainstream school, classroom, and curriculum. A primary assumption in this is that the mainstream itself is sufficiently resourced and is an optimally facilitative environment for meeting the developmental needs-special or not-of all children. In South Africa this is far from reality" (Mazurek & Winzer, 2006). Since South Africa understands that this is an issue, they have designed two trust to help in this transformation. However, even with these trust, there is still a "challenge of achieving effective inclusive education" (Mazurek & Winzer, 2006). The first trust is designed to change the mainstream. Individual needs are identified and accommodations are made for those students. The second trust is designed so that there are "district support services for those with special educational needs" (Mazurek & Winzer, 2006).
Educational Rights
Grades begin with Kindergarten and end with 12th.

Standardize testing starts in 3rd grade and continues until the 12th grade, depending on the subject matter.

Teachers are highly qualified. They must have a degree and a teaching license.

The US has lower student/teacher ratios.
At one point in time, both
the US and SA schools were segregated among race.

Both countries now have public and private schools.

Students complete 13 years of schooling.

Both countries strive to bring equality and provide everyone with an education.
Students begin school at reception year and finish with matric (the year of matriculation).

Students take assessment test their 3rd, 6th, 9th and matric year.

Not all teachers are qualified.

Students can opt out of finishing school, once they have successfully completed the 9th grade.

The educational system is divided into two ministries: Basic Education and Higher Education and Training
"Since 2009, the national Department of Education has been split into two ministries: Basic Education, and Higher Education and Training. Each ministry is responsible for its level of education across the country as a whole, while each of the nine provinces has its own education department. The Ministry of Basic Education focuses on primary and secondary education, as well as early childhood development centres. The Ministry of Higher Education and Training is responsible for tertiary education up to doctorate level, technical and vocational training, as well as adult basic education and training" ("Education in south," 2013).
Education in south africa. (2013, February 28). Retrieved from http://www.southafrica.info/about/education/education.htm

Mazurek, K. & Winzer, M.A. (2006). Schooling around the world. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.southafrica.org.za/south-africa-people-faq.html

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://southafrica.usembassy.gov/root/pdfs/study_sa_profile_rev100630.pdf

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/apartheid
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