South Africa: Tertiary Institutions Should Adopt Rigorous Admission Criteria for Teacher Education Programmes


Future generations need to be taught by capable and committed teachers.

On 3 January 2019 Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, announced the results of the 2018 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination. While the reported results may appear promising at first glance, Nic Spaull, Education Analyst, remarked that Motshekga neglected to account for the unacceptably high dropout rate among pupils. Considering that 489,800 pupils who started Grade 1 in 2007 dropped out before reaching Grade 12, the results of the 2018 NSC examination reiterate concerns that have been raised about the quality of education offered in South Africa.

In response to mounting political and economic pressure to overhaul the South African education system, policymakers have introduced a number of education reforms. Education reforms are typically modelled in accordance with top performing education systems from across the globe, such as Finland, Japan and Singapore. While policymakers can use top-performing education systems as a backdrop to gain a better understanding of the challenges associated with the South African education system, they should be wary of trying to replicate other countries' secret to success. Policymakers should recognise the differences that exist between South Africa and other countries in order to accurately discern which...

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