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Study Skills A South African Solution

2533 words - 10 pages

STUDY SKILLSHow to change the future for every South African childIn only 6 years, we can change the matriculation (Grade 12) pass rate in South Africa. We will change the way children learn.Written by: Tanya VandenbergRevsion: August 2014Why do we need a Study Skills program?BACKGROUND INFORMATIONSouth Africa has undergone major changes in education since 1994. With the best of intentions, Outcomes Based Education (OBE) was brought in as the new model, hoping to redress the wrongs of the Bantu Education system. However, as is presently clear, there were severe shortcomings in the implementation of these ideas. We identify certain major areas as the focus of the Department of Education's current move to reform, and these are:Lack of sufficient teacher training for the OBE methodologyTime prioritisation pressure (for educators) as a result of massive bureaucratic demands, leading to minimal lesson planningA perceived aversion to 'book learning', possibly exacerbated by esteem issues in under-qualified teachersEmphasis on group work at the cost of individual effort, leading to a culture of passing children through the system, only to find themselves unable to cope with NSC exams, and therefore, higher educationPapers consulted include those below, as well as a long and instructive relationship with educators in South Africa, whose opinions we value.Consulted papers:"Transforming educational management in South Africa". - Gallie, Muavia; Sayed, Yusuf; Williams, HermaPolicies for transformation: An evaluation of educational policy developments since 1994 - Cleaver C. OtaUndergraduate students' resistance to study skills course - College Student Journal, March, 2006 by Sedat YukselCardinal shifts in school management in South Africa, Education, GM SteynWhy Study Skills?It is obvious that schools that have more money available, through fee structures that the parents support, have more resources. These resources are not only physical. Through the OBE years, those more advantaged schools have continued to implement test cycles, allowing students to grow accustomed to studying, learning and using their knowledge in exam situations. Less advantaged schools, following the basic OBE dictates, with emphasis on group work and projects, have passed learners through many grades, bypassing the necessary individual study skills, and often even basic literacy. The acid test is, of course, the matric exam, and thereafter, university or other post-school training modalities. The tertiary world is highly individually orientated, and the student who is not self-motivated will not succeed. We are losing future contributors because we have not equipped them adequately.Equal Education for Every ChildThe DoE is already working to redress imbalances, by creating a standardized curriculum with the accompanying textbook resources for all schools. However, a simple question highlights a major shortcoming in this well-intended plan... HOW do you teach a child to LEARN? And...

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