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AA blamed for lack of black graduates

Oct 24 2012 15:50

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Johannesburg - A shortage of black graduates in medical careers indicates a deeper problem with affirmative action, AfriForum Youth said on Wednesday.

"The number of particularly black doctors that is not in proportion to the number that is admitted to medical schools as first years is an indication [of the problem]," national chairperson Charl Oberholzer said.

He was referring to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's comments on Tuesday that medical schools focused on reducing the country's health skills scarcity were not producing enough professionals.

During a meeting with the SA Medical Association (Sama), Nzimande said graduate output targets in the human health scarce skills field would not be met by 2014.

Sama said it was concerned that the output of black doctors was not proportionate to the number of first year black students.

The failure rate among black students also tended to be particularly high, the association said.

Oberholzer said: "The high rate of failure among specifically black students can be attributed to the obsession with race, that leads to students being admitted strictly according to race quotas."

Nzimande should rather invest in the potential of students who came from poor socio-economic conditions through bridging courses.

"A mental shift must be made about the representation of black students in certain careers," said Oberholzer.

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