Education Minister Angie Motshekga plans to implement some radical changes to the way the nation's children progress through the education system. One analyst has responded, saying that preventing young children from repeating grades would only put a plaster on the real issue's facing SA's schools.
Parenting expert Nikki Bush recently raised concerns over something mentioned in the Basic Education Budget Vote Speech for this financial year.
Bush noticed that Minister Angie Motshekga intended to make some drastic changes, including an overhaul of the Early Education System and improving the quality of education in South Africa's schools.
However, the most controversial change came in the prospect of 'scrapping' the option of repeating grades for students up until Grade 4, claiming that repetition may have a long-term effect on children:
“According to the experts, the children who repeat, on the whole, gain absolutely nothing. On the contrary, for many affected children, repetition is a powerful early signal of failure – a signal that lasts through the individual’s life.”
Bush disagrees with this, saying that these changes would not only have a serious impact on students, but also on businesses who rely on literacy in potential employees, reports The South African.
Motshekga also hinted at a similar policy for Grade 9 to 11 in high school, pointing to the inefficiency of the current system. High drop-out rates were also mentioned as the reason to push learners forward, even if they aren't ready for the next grade.
This policy is currently at the proposal stage, with a long way to go before it is accepted as law. However, parents and activists are filing complaints already, adamant that the move would have a negative impact.
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