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Report makes wrong point on policy

The article on education policy that appeared in The Star of June 18 is well written, but the reporter unfortunately misunderstood what I said.

I did not say a decision was made to push children out of the system.

That would be absurd, let alone contrary to our country’s educational goals and objectives.

What I said was that the policy of automatic progression was decided on to promote more rapid progression through the system as grade repetition levels were (and remain) very high.

I also said policy was contradicted by practice and that in practice repetition levels are high, higher than in many other countries.

I made the point that children are often pushed out of school by the quality of their schooling, a point made in research by the University of Johannesburg’s Shireen Motala and researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK as well as Sarah Meny-Gibert of the Public Affairs Research Institute.

This is a very different point from the one that is ascribed to me in the article.

Linda Chisholm

Pretoria

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