The matrics of 2018 have done well to improve the pass rate in difficult circumstances but there is still a great deal of room for improvement in the basic standard of education in the country.
Some of the stories of individual successes against all the odds have been truly inspiring and fill us with hope for a better South Africa.
The class of 2018 had to cope with an array of modern distractions like social media yet they still managed to do the work and produce the results. They deserve our congratulations.
However it’s important not to be carried away by the success of the few because the real challenge is to improve the literacy and numeracy of the many.
Politicians are rightly concerned about the number of learners who fall by the way before matric, but I believe there is a bigger challenge for the future and that is to make sure our education system produces matriculants who are equipped to deal with the changing demands of the modern world.
There is no doubt that we are becoming more reliant on technology and this meant more emphasis should be placed on the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths. Students with STEM qualifications will find it much easier to find and keep jobs.
It’s important to continually question whether learners are getting the right kind of education to prepare them for employment.
Future matriculants need to take a good hard look at the world and see what skills are needed. Many of them will see that an apprenticeship and becoming an artisan offers a much more secure future than some of the exotic qualification from colleges and universities.