Another academic year has passed. There has been no report in the national newspapers about the results of Grades 1 to 11 students nationally. It would be good for the South African public to hear how the nation has done nationally.
There is no reason for the public not to know. We should know so that we can have the discussion of what needs to be done to improve our education.
Soon – on January 21, 2022 – the entire country will want to know how our matrics of 2021 fared in the national exams.
In South Africa our students in matric are given a number and you can see the results in the national newspapers if you know the number of the student.
Imagine if newspapers were only allowed when they write stories about people to give people a number. Would it make any sense?
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) says it publishes numbers so as not to embarrass students who failed the exams.
Students have 12 years to prepare is tough and students need to face the challenges in life.
When the non-publication of names was introduced by the DBE in the 2010s, I published a full list of the names of students who passed the matric exams in two national newspapers. No action was taken by the DBE against me. The hard work of the students was recognised by the community and students earned the respect of their community.
We should celebrate success, and students who have not worked hard enough always have an opportunity to try again.
One thing I learnt in life is that when we do not succeed we never give up. It makes one stronger and wiser.
Schools, the majority of which cater for the poor of this country, must fight for the key subjects which will lead to the success of students and success of the country.
The home languages are important. Mathematics should be done by all students in the country.
Why are we afraid to make it compulsory? The more students get into the subject, the more successful they will become.
Dr Victor Ritchie, the former headmaster of the excellent Harold Cressy High School in Roeland Street, Cape Town, came to teach mathematics higher grade at South Peninsula High for three years in the early 2000s.
In 1999 only 19/200 South Peninsula matrics were doing mathematics higher grade.
After he left South Peninsula High in 2002, more than 80/200 students were doing mathematics HG. It can be done in schools of the poor. Physical sciences should also receive attention in the schools of the poor.
Yes, teachers do work harder in the schools of the poor. We do it not for ourselves but for our students and ultimately our country.
I used to greet the students at the school where I taught as students of excellence at every assembly.
As a teacher we always want the best for our students. In my career I have found that when you set the bar high for your students they will meet it.
Let us as teachers use this year ahead to get the very best out of our students. The matrics of 2021 who have worked hard the past year, you have set the standard for the 2022 matrics to follow.
* Brian Isaacs obtained a BSc (UWC) in 1975, a Secondary Teacher’s Diploma in 1976, BEd (UWC) in 1981, and MEd (UWC) in 1992. He is a former matriculant, teacher and principal at South Peninsula High School.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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