Fin24 user and regular columnist Geoffrey Chapman writes:
I FOUND the proposal for incentives for those who pass matric with distinctions by economist Dawie Roodt an interesting read and an interesting idea.
However, as with many things among economists, I disagree with the proposal - not the concept.
Firstly, our standards are low and if you speak to teachers (my mom is one), they will tell you that it has gradually come down over the years.
Thus, a simple distinction should not be enough. It should perhaps be coupled - as someone commented on the page - with further studying, and also perhaps only payable if those good marks continue into varsity.
Secondly, as the article states, teachers are not motivated to teach and probably not sufficiently capable in some of the rural areas. This means the learners in the wealthier areas - CT, Jozi and Pta - will earn the money, whereas learners in the poorer areas will not.
This will not only exacerbate the inequality problems through the direct financial gains, but also through affording the already wealthy the opportunity to study further.
Lastly, where would the money come from? If there were just a total of 10 000 distinctions in maths and science, that would equate to a R100m payout.
Something certainly needs to be done though.
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