Failing learners may cause irreparable damage to performance

The announcement by the Department of Education to allow learners to proceed to the next grade with a 20% mark in mathematics has been met with criticism.

In efforts to allay fears of breeding a culture of poor performance, Minister Angie Motshekga has said that this decision would be for the current academic year only.

However, associate professor at the University of Witwatersrand, Elizabeth Walton, said failing pupils does not always have the intended positive effect.

Speaking to 702's Phemelo Motene, she argued that holding children back from the next grade leaves them disengaged and demotivated from continuing and completing school.

The decision to make a learner repeat the grade can actually lead to all sorts of other problems which may have lasting impact.

Elizabeth Walton, University of the Witwatersrand

It seems logical that if you didn't learn the first time, then you go back and repeat. Maybe it's not such a great idea.

Elizabeth Walton, University of the Witwatersrand

Lack of commitment from teachers and lack of adequate resources are contributing factors to learners' poor performance, she added.

Listen to the full interview below:

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