Western Cape Education Department Aims High

The Western Cape Education Department is hopeful about increasing its level of matric passes this year, aiming for a pass rate of at least 75%. Helen Zille and her education MEC, Debbie Schafer, say it is important to look at the retention rate of Grade 10 pupils in order to arrive at the ‘real’ matric pass rate. The province’s retention rate for Grade 10 to 12 has improved from 53.1% in 2009 to 63.5% in 2014. Last year 85.1% of pupils in the Western Cape attained their national senior certificate.

The province is aiming to reach a target of 43 000 passes this year as compared to the 40 558 in 2013. At this point, just below 50 000 full-time pupils are registered to write their final exams. “The Western Cape education department will continue to assist learners in the remaining 42 days with intensive support to schools,” says Zille.

Additionally, the Western Cape is hoping to maintain a target of 40% of pupils achieving access to education at a tertiary level. The South African government says they are committed to increasing the numbers of honours graduates to more than 75 000, masters’ graduates to more than 17 000, and doctoral graduates to more than 5 000, by the end of 2014. Unfortunately, the challenge in fully meeting these targets “is that the production of these skills is threatened by an ageing lecturing workforce at higher education institutions,” says Zuma. “One fifth of academics will retire within a decade, and many of these are professors”. This means the most experienced of academics “will be leaving higher education”. South Africa needs to produce more graduates entering the education field and so we need to make academia more “exciting for our youth”.

Written by Kristin Naude
BrightSparkz specialist tutor – Maths Literacy, English, History and Biology

BrightSparkz Tutors – Simple Study Tips To Help Beat Your Exams

It can be difficult to concentrate and study, especially when our brains take in about 11 million bits of information per second! If you struggle to concentrate and stay focused on your studies, the following study tips can be helpful:

Study Tips

  • Keep two to-do lists: One to-do list for everything you need to do. Keep this list away when you are studying. The second to-do list should only contain the three items you are going to complete next; nothing goes on this list unless something else comes off!
  • Make a study timetable: Ask your BrightSparkz tutor to help you set up a timetable that fits in with your specific schedule and needs.
  • Find a suitable study environment and stay away from your cellphone!
  • Set study goals: What do you want to achieve? Now do it!
  • Reward yourself: Set a goal for how much work you will learn in a specified amount of time. When you have achieved this goal, reward yourself with something you enjoy.
  • Learn to say no: Even though seeing your friends is more enjoyable, a holiday spent with your friends while knowing you achieved good results is even better!
  • Post-Its: Stick them around your room to remind you of your priorities or even use them to remember those important points for a test!

Foods that help you concentrate

  • Nuts with dark chocolate: Nuts and seeds are natural vitamin E antioxidants and lessen cognitive decline as we age. Dark chocolate also contains caffeine to enhance focus.
  • Avocados and whole grains: This helps with blood flow, which helps when you are stuck studying for extended periods.
  • Fish: Many refer to it as brain food
  • Blueberries: Are very nutritious and studies show that they can help improve learning and muscle function.
  • Water: Your body becomes tired and dehydrated when you do not drink enough water. This makes you lose focus and to become tired. Keep a bottle of water next to you when you study.

Written by Kristin Naude

BrightSparkz specialist tutor – Maths Literacy, English, History and Biology


Do you have any good tips you would like to add?  Feel free to add your comment!

Good luck and have fun!

The need for home tutors in South Africa

According to the 2014 Global Information Technology Report, under the sub-category, ‘skills’, the quality of South Africa’s maths and science education comes in last place. South Africa fares behind the likes of Haiti, Lesotho, Chad, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Kenya. Worse still, according to the World Economic Forum report, the quality of South Africa’s maths and science education places it last out of 148 countries. This has resulted in an increase in the popularity of home tutors in South Africa.

Democratic Alliance education spokesperson Annette Lovemore said, the ministerial report exposes “gaping holes at every level of our education system.” The national education strategy is considered outdated; there is a major shortage of qualified teachers and, those who are qualified have been negatively affected by the curriculum changes over the last 10 years.

With a rise in unemployment, an increase in occupational requirements coupled with international competition and limited space for further study; a “quality education” is now, more than ever, “a crucial necessity for creating more globally competitive young adults, much-needed jobs and entrepreneurs,” says Lovemore.

So how do we as South Africans, or better yet, as students, move past and succeed in a country whose educational system and standards appear almost dismal?

I have been tutoring for 3 years and I cannot help but notice the dwindling amount of importance and enthusiasm some learners place on their education. Some of my learners receive exam notes that are so poorly printed even I cannot make out the words. If teachers (certainly not all) do not care enough to equip learners with the requirements to pass, how can we as parents or educators blame them?

Brightsparkz tutors employ only the best tutors to help fill any gaps and difficulties that your learner may be experiencing. By selecting the best tutor for the learner’s specific needs, BrightSparkz Tutors help them gain a greater level of enthusiasm for their education which is the first step in achieving academic success. Contact us about our home tutors in South Africa.

Written by Kristin Naude

BrightSparkz specialist tutor – Maths Literacy, English, History and Biology