12 August 2010
A new report issued by education quality assuror Umalusi and Higher Education South Africa (Hesa) finds that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and its curriculum are on par with international standards, and are favourable when compared to other international qualifications.
The report, released in Johannesburg on Wednesday, compared the NSC certificate with the Cambridge International Examinations and the International Baccalaureate Organisation as well as the Namibian Senior Certificate.
The report will further assist in determining the minimum requirements for admission to degree, diploma and higher certificate admission status in the country.
“Our findings are that this qualification [NSC] is pitched at the correct level. It has got the necessary requirements of a robust qualification .the learners who pass this certificate can compete favourably with learners from other education systems,” Umalusi CEO Rakometsi Mafu said at the release of the report.
‘Good, solid qualification’
Liz Burroughs, a senior manager at Umalusi, said the main aim of the study was to establish the continuity of standards between the old and new qualifications. The NSC replaced the Senior Certificate in 2008.
“The South African public can be reassured that the NSC is a good, solid, robust qualification,” said Burroughs.
She added that one of the recommendations of the report was to highlight the importance of good teacher training “so that we maintain our credibility in the international education landscape”.
Equitable admissions policy
Based on these findings, Hesa will then formulate an equitable policy that will lead to consistency in admission decisions. Hesa’s criticisms do, however, hint that there is a clear need for well-qualified teachers in South Africa.
Hesa manager Cobus Lotter said the research compared the NSC to the Cambridge International Examinations because it had a footprint in South Africa. Data indicates that it has more than 40 centres in the country and over 150 worldwide.
Already, South Africa was the eighth most favourable university destination in the world, he said.