Exposing the Great Grade 12 Lie: Part 1 1


Umalusi is the statutory body responsible for the certification of the  National Senior Certificate (NSC). One of Umalusi’s stated objectives is to ensure that “… learners are issued with certificates that are credible…”

I for one believe that the NSC Certificate issued by Umalusi is anything but credible and will try and prove this point in several blog posts.

Umalusi certifies that candidates have passed the NSC and then certifies that the successful candidate is ready for either further degree studies, further diploma studies or further certificate studies. This creates an expectation with the receiver that one; these opportunities indeed exist and two; that he/she has been adequately prepared to capitalise on the available opportunity.

Umalusi continues to issue these certificates in the full knowledge that both these expectations will be shattered and is in my opinion purposely trying to mislead the receivers of the certificates, their parents and the community at large.

Firstly they are certifying numbers of learners in the full knowledge that the Higher Education Institutions lack the capacity to absorb these learners as I will illustrate today. For ease of illustration I have rounded all figures liberally and have made assumptions when I needed to, but it illustrates the points I am trying to make, none the less.

The following table indicates the Capacity of South African Universities and Colleges in terms of Enrolments for Qualifications on Level 5 and higher

 

Certificates

Diplomas

Degrees

Total

Universities

280 000

280 000

Comprehensive Universities

185 000

185 000

370 000

Universities of Technology

150 000

150 000

Private Institutions registered with the CHE

100 000

100 000

Private Institutions registered with SETAS

100 000

100 000

 

200 000

535 000

465 000

1 120 000

 

I made the following reasonable assumptions to calculate the number of available places to school leavers based on reports from the CHE.

  • 20% of enrolled students will graduate.
  • 30% of 1st year students will quit their studies.
  • 40% of all students are 1st year students.
  • 7.5% of students involved in degree programs are post graduates.
  • 7.5% of enrolled students are foreign students.
  • 50% of all places at private institutions will be filled by students who completed their level 4 studies at that institution.
  • 50% of 1st year spots at UNISA will be filled by people other than school leavers.
  • 65% of learners studying at comprehensive universities are studying at UNISA

The following table then illustrates the available places at Universities and Colleges at the beginning of year 1.

 

Certificates

Diplomas

Degrees

Total

Universities

78 680

78 680

Comprehensive Universities

36 964

35 090

72 054

Universities of Technology

44 400

44 400

Private Institutions registered with the CHE

14 800

14 800

29 600

Private Institutions registered with SETAS

14 800

14 800

29 600

 

29 600

110 964

113 770

254 334

 

Compare this with the rounded Grade 12 results in 2011

  • Wrote Grade 12                           500 000
  • Entry to B Degree                         125 000 (25%)
  • Entry to Diploma                          150 000 (30%)
  • Entry to Certificate                        75 000 (15%)
  • Fail                                             150 000 (30%)

The available candidates will then be as per the following table

Candidates

DoE (NSC)

IEB (NSC)

Year 0 Dropouts

Total

For Degrees

125 000

6 400

51 615

183 015

For Diplomas

150 000

1 600

59 385

210 985

For Certificates

75 000

22 200

92 200

 

 

 

 

491 200

 

Resulting in the following:

  • 183 015 Candidates for 113 770 Degree Opportunities.
    • The top 62% will be successful.
    • The remaining 69 245 candidates will take up diploma opportunities.
    • 210 985 Candidates for the remaining 41 719 Diploma Opportunities.
      • The top 20% will be successful.
      • The next 17% will take up all the certificate opportunities.
      • 139 666 learners who was lead to believe that they would get into a Diploma program, will not even get into a certificate program.
      • None of the 75 000 who was lead to believe that they would get into a Certificate program will be successful.

I know that the numbers presented here are over-simplified, but that leaves 214 666 deceived learners in year 1, if the system was perfect in year 0 (which of cause it was not).

Now I’m just wandering if Umalusi would be liable under the Consumer Protection Act.

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One thought on “Exposing the Great Grade 12 Lie: Part 1

  • Miro Bagrov

    Thanks for the solid research and effort.

    Efficiency is the boast of small organisations definitely not government. And this is a typical example of how segmented and divided government is.

    In fact I will bet you R1000 cash that the management of Umalusi has not even thought of the absorption capacity of the nation. Because as everyone else, they just do what they are told to do and go home, no one wants extra work.

    Concerning the CPA, I also wonder – because the certificate gives you the right not the obligation to study further. There is no guarantee or warantee that the receiver of the certificate will be accepted.

    Universities try to avoid accepting students based on their results as a per-subject-% and result averages – maybe the universities should be sued under the CPA for showing favoritism to some clients..