Reversing the Trend of Dismal Performance in Disadvantaged Schools: A Curriculum Evaluation exercise
AbstractThe deficit of science and mathematics skills is a national problem of such magnitude that it has been, and still is, the subject of heated debates. For the past few years, the Grade 12 results have reflected a worrying trend of a high dropout rate at school level and low performance in these gateway subjects. The College of Education at the University of South Africa (Unisa) has started an MIT Community Engagement Project aimed at reversing the high failure rate in the deep rural areas of the disadvantaged schools in the Vhembe district of the Limpopo and North West provinces (NW). With the assistance of the provincial department of education, experts were identified and they signed a two-year contract with Unisa for teaching mathematics and science at these disadvantaged schools over weekends and during the holidays. An honorarium was set aside to compensate for the transport and tuition fees for these experts from dinaledi (stars) schools. Based on the year-end examination results, further suggestions for a turnaround strategy were formulated.
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