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Sawubona Ivory Park

Whenever we start a new project in a previously disadvantaged area, I get excited to meet the teachers and principals of the schools we are working at and look forward to meeting them during the project.

The excitement and anticipation, makes me think…

The state of education in this country is not great to say the least. In 2008 only 62.5% of Grade 12 learners passed matric; but an even gloomier picture is when you compare the number of learners in Grade 11 in 2007 to the number of these learners that wrote matric. Then you discover that only 64% of those grade 11 learners wrote matric in 2008. Of this original cohort of 2007 only 36.2% passed matric. Some regard this number as a more accurate state of the matric pass rate. Link for SIRR report

Another sad number is that only about 20% of the students who passed matric qualify to enroll to undergraduate study at university, (11.7% if you do the math from 2007)

While I don’t think this is a situation that can be fixed from today to tomorrow, I am optimistic…We have to get to the roots of the problem.

I believe the efforts should start from early Childhood. Trying to “fix” the problem at the high school level is too late and as we can see, it does not achieve any progress.

Therefore I feel lucky to be working at an organization such as ORT, who has the vision of “educating for life” , targets Foundation and Intermediate Phase teachers and  is close to cutting edge technologies that are applied in our services of teachers’ training and on-site support.

So these are my thoughts when we are launching the Ivory Park ABSA project. This project aims to enhance the Science and Technology state in the Ivory Park area for Foundation and Intermediate Phase teachers.

The launch in the community centre in Ivory Park is due next week on the 25th of February 2009 and I am looking forward to welcome all … Sawubona! (Hello in Zulu)