Newspaper clipping – The Cape Argus – 20 July 2010
Mixed feelings as OBE is set to bite dust
Curriculum changes announced by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga are to be phased in over the next few years. While the minister did not mention the words Outcomes Based Education (OBE) in her statement, many say OBE is dead.
Here the Cape Argus speaks to people from across the education spectrum about their OBE experiences.
Xoliswa Qalazive, of Solomon Qatyana Primary in Strand, said a lot of planning and paperwork was required. She has been teaching four subjects to Grade 5 pupils and also teaches English to Grade 4 pupils.
Qalazive said that in English, for example, pupils had to do four projects a term.
She said that in overcrowded classes teachers could not focus on struggling pupils. Qalazive said she would wait and see whether the changes would benefit teachers.
She said the department would also have to ensure that teachers were properly trained.
Tarryn de Kock, a matriculant at South Peninsula High School, said while pupils had to complete many projects, the continuous assessment mark represented only 25 percent of the year mark.
She said she had enjoyed the fact that OBE allowed for discussion in class and felt school had prepared her well for university.
THE PARENT (and teacher)
Zelda Andrews, a parent and teacher from Atlantis who has two children at high school, said her children coped well with OBE.
Andrews, who teaches at Protea Park Primary in Atlantis, said teachers needed training as soon as possible to ensure they started 2011 fully prepared.
Dr Susan van Schalkwyk, deputy director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Stellenbosch University, said while the average mark of Grade 12 pupils who had enrolled as first years in 2009 and 2010 declined, mostly because higher grade bonus points were no longer available, the average percentage achieved by the 2009 first years, at the end of the first year, showed no significant changes compared to previous years. (The class of 2008 were the first to write matric under the new curriculum.)
The retention rate (the number of students who went on to register for second year) also remained stable. She said this could be attributed to the fact that in 2006 Stellenbosch University conducted an investigation looking into how the old curriculum differed from the new one, and the effect of the changes in first-year curriculums. Lecturers were proactive in making adjustments, where necessary, she said.
The university also started a First Year Academy in 2007 to support the “new” group of students.
Van Schalkwyk said some lecturers had indicated that many students were better prepared for visual interpretations, for example, through graphics. In chemistry, there were serious gaps.
She said first year students, as in the past, saw their biggest challenge as the volume of work and the pace at which they had to work.
Changes that took effect in January include:
Changes scheduled to take effect in 2011:
Changes scheduled to take effect in 2012:
By Ilse Fredericks