Last week there was an article in BusinessTech about the government proposing that learners who fail Grade 11 twice would be permitted to write their Grade 12 final exams over two years. Why?
In my opinion, if you haven’t put in the effort sorry for you! Seriously, the idea is ludicrous and should be tossed. What government should be doing is looking at reinvesting in Technical Colleges. These used to be great institutions of higher and applied learning and produced many successful individuals. I am convinced that students who would have otherwise struggled to gain a Grade 12 certificate actually finished, excelled and enjoyed their schooling.
I don’t think we’re all meant to complete the routine of the standard high school education stream, so for many learning a trade while still gaining a recognised certificate that would give them access to jobs is the way to go. Students being able to study for six months with the knowledge that they would then be able to secure a temporary apprenticeship for the next six months may just be the way … again? The government could encourage companies to register with these Technical Colleges so that students could then learn their trade as part of an internship. The benefit for the company would be additional points to improve their BEE score through the allocation of Enterprise Development/Socio-Economic Development spend. I’ve probably oversimplified things, but seriously? I really don’t see what the point is of allowing someone who could not even pass Grade 11 to complete Grade 12 over two years. What exactly is the point? What’s the logic in this thinking? If I don’t make an effort to pass Grade 11 or any Grade before that … because let’s be serious if I can’t pass Grade 11, it is highly unlikely I will pass Grade 12.
Let me clarify further, we desperately need more tradesmen in our society. Everyone entering a tertiary institution wants to either be a Doctor, Accountant, Lawyer, Marketer .. but no one wants to be a Plumber, Electrician or Carpenter. Who do these students think will fix their broken toilets, the Accountant? There’s no shame in being a tradesman, there are so few it’s no wonder that we’re now paying a fortune for these services.
Again, let’s assume that you now finally pass Grade 12. Realistically, considering it took you two years to get that certificate, are you going to be accepted into a University? No! There’s a very high chance that you will end up at a Technical College if you’re fortunate. Doesn’t it then just make more sense to encourage students struggling in mainstream schooling to move over to a Technical College? How about in Grade 8, students write an assessment that will give both parents, students, and teachers an idea of where their strengths lie? If they are coping with mainstream school, they can continue. If they are not, then they move over to a Technical College that offers a trade they are interested in. Less frustration for the student and parents. The student will end up with a qualification that they can actually do something with.
A two-year Grade 12 makes no sense at all.