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Saturday, 16 March 2019
An IMF report mentions that while SA has a fair budget for education, the teaching and learning is of poor quality
South Africa’s long-term low economic growth might be attributed in part to poor education outcomes, according to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) working paper on education, which was released earlier this month.
“International evidence … seems to indicate that low-quality education has been a drag that partly explains the low long-run growth in the country,” says the IMF paper, which is authored by Montfort Mlachila and Tlhalefang Moeletsi.
It is entitled: Struggling to make the grade: a review of the causes and consequences of the weak outcomes of South Africa’s education system.
“Money is clearly not the main issue, since South Africa’s education budget is comparable to OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries as a percent of GDP and exceeds that of most peer sub-Saharan African countries in per capita terms.”
On average, South Africa spends over 6% of its GDP on education.
“However, a significant number of sub-Saharan African countries that spend far less per learner than South Africa have far better educational outcomes,” the IMF paper said.
“The main explanatory factors are complex and multifaceted, and are associated with insufficient subject knowledge of some teachers, history, race, language, geographic location and socioeconomic status,” the paper said.
“Education leads to a more skilled workforce, higher productivity of human capital and higher output…Education increases the innovation in the economy, with new products, new knowledge and new processes that can drive economic growth,” the IMF paper explains.
It quotes research findings that economic growth was positively related to the starting level of average years of school attainment at the secondary and higher levels.
The paper also quoted a study finding that differences in mathematics and science scores explained the high economic growth rates of the east Asia miracle countries, and the sluggish growth rates of Latin America.
South Africa’s economic growth in the early 2000s was skills-intensive and benefited highly educated workers at the expense of poorly educated workers.
“South African ninth-grade learners were second to last in a ranking of 39 countries by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement for eighth-grade learner mathematics performance and last in science performance in 2015.
“About half of South Africa’s students drop out of school before completing secondary education. Among the learners who write the end of high school examinations, about a quarter fail. Moreover, less than 5% of students who start primary school end up with a university qualification.
“South Africa has achieved significant improvements in access to education, but the quality of education is significantly lagging.
“Due to conscious government efforts since the fall of apartheid, access to education at a primary level is almost universal. The battle is usually won or lost at primary school. A substantial part of the low rates of retention is caused by learning deficits acquired at the primary level due to low quality of education.
“Peer countries such as Kenya, Swaziland and Botswana out-rank South African learners in reading and mathematics scores.
“It is evident that the population groups where the apartheid government denied quality education are those that have the poorest educational outcomes today.
“The apartheid government deliberately under-resourced black schools to limit the educational achievements of black learners.
“Indeed, in 1994, spending on white learners was one-and-a-half times higher than that of black learners in urban areas and fives times higher than in rural areas.
“The poorest 75% to 80% of learners depend on dysfunctional public schooling and achieve poor outcomes while the wealthiest 20% to 25% of learners enrol in private schools and functional public schools, and achieve better academic outcomes.
“Government interventions have had relatively limited success in redressing the situation – 80% of South Africa’s dysfunctional schools are in townships and rural communities.
“While management in these schools tends to have limited capacity, according to the literature, what is most worrying is the fact that the teachers from these schools tend to have lower subject content knowledge and few systems to hold them accountable.
“The level of retention and the average time taken to complete a first degree in South Africa’s tertiary education system are worrisome.
“As many as 25% of students enrolled in tertiary education in South Africa drop out in their first year.”
The IMF paper recognised language as a key barrier to education.
“A majority of South African learners, predominantly black, do not have a good command of the English language even though it is the primary medium of instruction in schools.
“Students who rarely spoke the language at home had much lower average reading scores.”
The paper also listed textbook availability as having an impact on South Africa’s education system.
Another issue raised was how teachers are paid.
“Low accountability from teachers and a flat-pay system is limiting the return from a relatively high teacher compensation bill.
“Teacher pay is relatively high for entry-level teachers but does not compensate for more experienced and more qualified teachers.
“Increasing accountability by transforming South Africa’s teacher pay system from a flat-pay system to a performance-pay may improve learning outcomes.”
Published in World
Saturday, 16 March 2019 14:56

Nigeria can boost tourism through sports

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ooni of Ife Global Outreach, Dr Ayobami Oyedare, has advised Nigeria to promote tourism potential through local and international sporting activities.
Oyedare said that this was an area that would attract national and international spectators and investors without limit.
He told the News men in Lagos that through such partnership, Nigerians would be able to narrate their stories in positive ways before other nationals they would come across.
He commended the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi,who in partnership with Cape Verde, a republic in Northwest Coast of Africa, accepted to promote Nigerian tourism through sports.
Oyedare said, “We want to tell our own stories to the international community through sports because we have so many positive stories to tell about our country.
” Since sports has a very strong influence in the world, so we want to tap from it.
” We have decided to select African Beach Games and African Heavyweight championships as platforms to promote the richness of African tourism,” he said.
He said the two sports would help identify, build and promote immense “hidden talents” of young Africans that would turn into goldmine on the world stage.
” The sporting project will be at the front burner of promoting African culture and heritage by telling African stories through various spectrums.
” Both events will serve as new the sport and economic space which are intended to attract new brand of Foreign Direct Investors (FDI), Global Corporate Institutions (GCI) and royalties,” he said.
According to one of the partners, Saulo Montrond, the CEO of Green Studios, the project titled : Sal 2019, will feature African Beach Games, a continental multi-sport event which will be holding among athletes from Africa.
He said that the games would be organised under the supervision of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.
“The first sporting events will hold on the Island of Sal, Cape Verde from June 14 to June 23, 2019,” he said.
He added that the second event: African Heavyweight Boxing Championship, is meant to revive the image of boxing as a huge mechanism to support youth development, under the ” Africa King’s Belt” title.
” It has the official approval of both the African Boxing Union (ABU) and the World Boxing Council ( WBC) respectively.
” The first event was hosted in December 2017 in Cape Verde and was streamed live to over 80 million households across Europe and the US,” he said.
He said that with the royal blessings of the Ooni of Ife in partnership with the Ooni of Ife Global Outreach (OIGO), the second edition would be staged in Nigeria in August.
Similarly, Prince Adebolu Ademiluyi, a stakeholder in the event, told news men that the project was meant to boost a sustainable value chain for sporting activities through marketing, production, and broadcasting.
Published in Travel & Tourism
The Naira on Saturday gained against the dollar at the investors window, exchanging at N360.18 to the dollar.
The News reports that the naira had exchanged at N360.36 to the dollar on Thursday.
Market turnover at the investors window stood at 458.95 million dollars.
At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the naira traded at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N471 and N406, respectively.
The naira remained stable at the parallel market exchanging at N358 to the dollar while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N471 and N406, respectively.
The naira had remained stable at the foreign exchange market due to series of interventions by the CBN.
Published in Bank & Finance

For every skilled professional coming to South Africa, eight are leaving.

This was the major finding of an Enterprise Observatory of South Africa (EOSA) report released in January.

The researchers found that while a large number of white professionals were making the jump, in recent years, the annual number of black professionals leaving South Africa exceeds the tally of professional white emigrants.

The EOSA estimated that between 1989 and 2003, over 120,000 of the 520,000 mainly white emigrants had professional qualifications (one in four) and SA lost 7% of its total stock of professionals.

“Considering that the 1990 to 2003 emigration of skills continued despite the return of stabilisation under Mandela and Mbeki, one can easily state that at least a similar number of white professional people have left between 2004 and 2018 – amounting to at least a quarter million of white professionals,” said Johannes Wessels, director of EOSA.

“(However), the last phase of the Zuma catastrophe as well as the embrace by the ANC of expropriation without compensation have led to an acceleration of skilled emigration – this time from all race groups.”

Damage to the economy

Speaking to BusinessTech chief economist at the Efficient Group, Dawi Roodt, said that the number of skilled South Africans leaving the country is a massive problem for the economy.

He said that this has been exacerbated by South Africa’s current immigration policies and the restrictions on workers trying to enter the country.

“South Africa cannot attract skilled foreigners to come and work in the country,” he said.

“When we talk about skilled foreigners I don’t just mean guys with PhDs, I also mean plumbers and other trade workers who typically come from other African countries who are also finding it difficult to enter the country.

“Without a doubt, we are losing a lot of highly-skilled and normally skilled South Africans of all races.”

Roodt said that this was not only due to the country’s politics, but also due to its poor economy.

“At the end of the day, people with skills want to ensure that they have a financial future in South Africa.

“However, they also want to feel welcome, safe, and that their children have access to quality education and medical treatment – and I am afraid this country is facing certain challenges when it comes to those things.


Credit: BusinessTech

Published in Travel & Tourism
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