Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe
On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) has experienced a huge amount of criticism in South Africa during the past couple of years and the success thereof has been called into question daily. According to Spady, outcomes-based education has failed in South Africa and it should be stopped immediately. He is convinced that a too heavy administrative load is placed on teachers and that it has taken the focus off effective learning in the classroom. The quality of education in South Africa is not up to standard and teachers are very negative about the current situation in classrooms. Some of the most important problems teachers experience are the large classes, the huge amount of paperwork that should be done, that time is still a limiting factor, that there is no uniformity in the education system, that too much emphasis is placed on assessment, that there are too many learning outcomes and assessment standards to achieve in one year, that the training of teachers is unsatisfactory, that the needs of all the learners are still not taken into account in the classroom, that the government gives very little support in providing sufficient resources to schools and that, especially in the Foundation Phase, insuffi cient opportunity is provided for concrete learning experiences. The new minister of basic education in South Africa and the previous MEC for education in Gauteng, Angie Motshekga, is of the opinion that the burden OBE places on teachers is too severe. Minister Motshekga promises a radical change in the education system of South Africa and she aims at revising certain legislature. Minister Motshekga appointed a task team to advise the Department of Education regarding positive changes that need to be made to OBE. The curriculum policy, curriculum structure and support in the implementation of the proposed changes are taken into account in the task team's report. The conclusion that the task team came to is, that although OBE had some positive outcomes, it is necessary to put the emphasis back on the knowledge aspect of positive learning. Clear guidelines should be given for " ... the what to teach and how to teach it". In the recommendations it is suggested that a five-year plan should be developed to clarify and simplify the education policy, that the role of subject advisors should be developed, that the workload of teachers should be made more productive, that assessment should be simplifi ed, that the transition from the Foundation Phase to the Intermediate Phase should be made easier, that the provision of learning material should be improved and that the training of teachers should be improved and made more practical. In this article the problems teachers experience with OBE are discussed, as well as what the possible change of the education system in South Africa will entail, how foundation phase teachers understand this possible change and fi nally, the effect of this possible change on the training of teachers. The qualitative research method was applied and the researcher gathered information by conducting interviews. It is clear that the teachers are in favour of the possible change, provided the main focus will once more be on reading, writing and arithmetic and the possible change lessens their workload and improves the quality of education in the Foundation Phase classroom. They feel that this possible change will empower teachers again and that, if the implementation is well planned and well-structured, education in South Africa will improve. Teachers will be able to start enjoying the teaching profession again and will be able to feel in control of the learning process.
Keywords : Outcomes-based Education; structure for teaching; curricula; Foundation phase; teaching and learning; teachers; learners; teacher training; education change.