Following the Department of Education’s announcement that it wants to pass learners in Grade 7-9 who get 20% for maths, Wits vice-chancellor Adam Habib has voiced his criticism.
Until now, learners had to get 40% for maths – a compulsory subject – in order to proceed to the next grade.
The department’s plan is to let learners proceed to the next year if they pass all their other subjects but only achieve 20% in maths.
As reported by the Sunday Independent newspaper, Habib said the decision by the department was disastrous and will “hurt poor black children”.
“The problem with downgrading our schooling system, maths, and science, is we are more focused on getting numbers through than caring what the quality is, and we are paying the costs,” said Habib.
The people “paying the costs” were poor, black working-class kids, he said.
Last in Africa
“We are last in Africa for maths and science. Why? Because we send poor students to terrible schools. If you want to give your child a better education, you take them to a model C school,” said Habib.
Habib said the problems with the country’s education system were exacerbated by the “government’s misguided transformative agenda”.
“The way we transform our education system… must be thoughtful – because if you do it in a thoughtless way, you destroy it.”
“Transformation is not to get poor people to get access to shitty schools. You see what happens in township schools, they are completely dysfunctional.”