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SA should learn from us—Dr Mazibuko

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By SIBONGILE SUKATI -- SWAZI TIMES-27-Sep-2009

MBABANE—South Africa in the opinion of Examinations Council Registrar Dr Edmund Mazibuko should be using the schools curriculum that is used in Swaziland

Dr Mazibuko made these remarks yesterday at St Mark’s High School where he was guest speaker during the school’s Speech and Prize Giving Day.

Dr Mazibuko said the problem with Swaziland was that no one appreciated our own products. He was speaking specifically about the curriculum reform, in particular the introduction of the Swaziland General Certificate in Education (SGCSE) in high schools, stating that Swazis were always quick to criticise a system, but not provide a solution.

“You hear people say we should introduce Matric in Swaziland like South Africa, yet that country is barely 15 years old post apartheid and, therefore, they should learn from us,” said Mazibuko, whose words were met with excited cheers from the crowd. He said public criticism and debate on matters relating to education was a good thing, adding that it was something that should happen in every civilised society.

Quality

“This is what keeps governments on their toes, government should always put its citizens first and offer the best education to its people,” he said. Mazibuko said they wanted to hear politicians questioning the education system and parental groups questioning the quality of education offered to their children.

“It is not enough to criticise something unless backed by facts, evidence and logic and there is a lot of negative comments that are made in public forums which in my view remain of little value since they do not contribute or enrich debate on the subject,” he said.

The theme of the Speech Day was ‘The effects of curriculum change-the dilemma of the Swazi child’. The SGCSE, which is being phased in, will replace the IGCSE by 2011. Dr Mazibuko said for example there had been comments where some people have said the SPC and JC examinations should be done away with, but there were no reasons given why or suggestions of what could be put in place.

He said the removal of O’Level was necessary as pupils were only taught mere facts, yet the SGCSE curriculum was there to ensure that pupils acquire higher order thinking skills, critical thinking and problem solving. He said the reforms were aimed at giving pupils the skills to find information and reflect upon it in order for them to become lifelong learners.

Completing

To the departing pupils, Dr Mazibuko said completing 12 years of schooling was not the end of the journey. He said education was a lifelong process and he encouraged them to embrace lifelong learning in order to survive in this dynamic world. Also present at the event was Reverend Dr Johannes Mazibuko, and principals from St Christopher’s and Sifundzani High Schools and Chairperson of the school committee Lorraine Hlophe.


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