Zooming in on education crisis

Zandile Mbabela

THE Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University has produced another batch of teachers with 522 under- and post-graduate degrees conferred yesterday – with a few doctoral theses tackling some of the Eastern Cape’s greatest education challenges.

The use of folktales to help orphaned children learn better, strengthening school management teams and highlighting the vast disparities in literacy and numeracy levels between South African Grade 9 pupils and their international counterparts were some of the issues dealt with by doctoral students.

Doctor of Education graduate Keith Arnolds did a study in which he investigated the actual levels of language, mathematical and science literacy in the country’s pupils, drawing from it a comparison between the city’s Grade 9 pupils and their peers around the globe.

“The main findings of this research revealed that most pupils in the study could perform only the most basic Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) tasks in reading, mathematics and science. The South African sample would rank in the bottom five of the possible 57 countries that participated in reading as well as the maths Pisa assessment test,” part of his thesis read.

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