BusinessTech reports the Department of Education is considering a ‘no repeat policy’ for foundation phase learners at South African schools.
In her 2018/2019 budget speech, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that one of her key focuses for the upcoming year was a review of the country’s progression and promotion policies – especially in the lower grades.
“A number of education experts have opined on this matter, and the overwhelming message is that it does not make any educational sense to make young children aged 6 to 10 years, repeat a grade,” she said.
BusinessTech quotes the minister as saying: “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.
“To improve the efficiency of the system, we are also focusing on Grades 9 to 11, as repetition and drop-out rates are also high in these grades.”
‘Not a good idea’
While Motshekga said that policy change was supported by academic research, some education experts have slammed the proposal.
Creative parenting consultant Nikki Bush told CapeTalk Radio these “progressed learners” would be put at a distinct disadvantage. She said this controversial approach will have a serious impact on children and business who will “one day want to employ numero-literate people”.
She added that the policy would only put a ‘bandaid’ on the problem, and would effectively push the bottleneck up to grade 4 level.