Newspaper clipping – The Mercury – 14 November 2008
OBE may be dropped in schools
By ANGELIQUE SERRAO
A document that suggests that the controversial Outcomes Based Education could be scrapped is to be considered by the highest echelons of the ANC.
The document, called The Education Roadmap and leaked to The Mercury, calls for a review of the system and, if necessary, to “issue its death certificate”.
For the first time this year’s matriculants are writing exams under a system which former University of Cape Town vice-chancellor and World Bank director Mamphela Ramphele bluntly says “has failed our children.”
The roadmap was compiled at an education meeting in Gauteng last weekend. It was called for after Polokwane resolutions put education at the top of the ANC’s agenda. Delegates at the meeting included the Department of Education, the minister of education, all teacher unions, the ANC’s national executive committee, school governing bodies, academics and NGOs.
It was the first time that all these key players had come together and
agreed on changes. Their main concerns include:
The next step, said sources, would be for ANC president Jacob Zuma’s national executive to sign off on the document so that its interventions can begin next year.
While most sources did not want to comment about the document because
they felt it was too premature, National Professional Teachers Organisation
of South Africa president Ezra Ramashela said it would mean major changes.
Ramashela said the review of the system was the most serious point that
could not be ignored.
Other education experts lauded the document for its forward thinking
The report looks at the advances in education since 1994, the challenges, current interventions and a 10-point programme of action. In a chapter titled “Key interventions needed” a point is made to “review OBE, and, if need be, issue its ‘death certificate’”.
It also advises that regulations should be reviewed to enable national procurement of textbooks, feeding schemes and pupil transport and the regular external testing of pupils in primary and secondary school. It also advises that funding should be allocated as an incentive for schools to improve on their results.
Much of the roadmap meeting was spent discussing OBE, with department officials indicating that OBE had been silently phased out with the new curriculum statement released in 2005.
The department has recently been talking about “returning to the
basics”, particularly with the launch of the Foundations for Learning
campaign in March which focuses on primary schools teaching literacy and