Posted by: gypsytales | January 1, 2009

After 12 years – the results are out

Below is an extract from an article that appeared on the front page of The Star newspaper on 31 December 2008. 


“The agony and the ecstasy”

Minister steadfast but experts slam OBE as pass rate dips again


As the results of the country’s first ever Outcomes Based Education curriculum were announced, education experts slammed the controversial curriculum implemented 12 years ago, while the minister of education (Ms Naledi Pandor) chose to celebrate the gains that had been made.


Even fewer South African pupils passed matric (grade 12) this year, 62.7%, down from 65% last year.  Dr Salim Vally from Wits Policy Unit said the pass rate was “even more desultory and pathetic than I though it would be, even without comparing it to previous years.”


The pass rate has declined every year from a high of 70% in 2004.  This year almost 200,000 pupils failed the exams.  Of the 298,000 who wrote maths, 63,038 passed with more than 50%.  162,168 failed.  Vally also criticised the 30% and 40% benchmarks for passes, feeling these were too low.  “We are setting our sights too low.  There is nothing to celebrate.  Our schooling system is failing our young people and we need to review it,” he added.  The article closed with this remark, what would happen to the 200,000 who failed.


So, the question is, how bright is South Africa’s future?  You be the judge…


What impact do issues like Crime, AIDS, Education and Unemployment have on an emerging economy with a population of only 47 million?



  • Gun violence: South Africa ranks No. 1 in the world, second only to Colombia(1)
  • Assaults per capita: South Africa ranks No. 1 in the world, second only to Montserrat(1)
  • Manslaughters per capita: South Africa ranks No. 1 in the world, second only to Mexico(1)
  • Murders per capita: South Africa ranks No. 2 in the world, No.1 is Colombia(1)
  • Rapes per capita: South Africa ranks No. 1 in the world, second to Seychelles(1)


  • more than 7,6 million are HIV-positive (2,2 million more than last year)(2)
  • 92 000 babies infected during the past year(2)
  • By mid-2007 1,287,844 people were sick with AIDS related illnesses(2)
  • 3,7 million AIDS related deaths since 2003(2)
  • 1,2 million aids orphans(2)
  • 18,8% of population is infected with AIDS (2006)(2)


  • 77% drop out of school scholars over 12 years of schooling(3)
  • 200,000 scholars failed their final year at school (2008 – under OBE curriculum)(4)
  • 65% of school leavers are functionally illiterate.(5) (Definition of Functional Illiteracy: Functional illiteracy refers to the inability of an individual to use reading, writing, and computational skills efficiently in everyday life situations.)(6)


  • Official unemployment rate: 25.5% (March 2007)(7)
  • Unofficial unemployment rate is believed to be around 40%(8)


1Nation Master (Seventh United Nations survey of crime trends and operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 – 2000)

2 IOL HIV Aids (Development Bank of South Africa)

3 adv. Paul Hoffman SC, director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights of the F.W. de Klerk Foundation

4 The Star

5 Saleem Badat, Vice Chancellor, Rhodes University (Sayed, 2007:6).

6 Wikipedia

7 Fin24

8 News i africa Sept 2008



  1. It’s truly sad to know that the future of our country is in the hands of youths who don’t have the skills to make South Africa a great nation. We have the most beautiful country in the world and this makes me very sad that the powers that be cannot pull it together.

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