oa South African Journal of Science - Educating scientists in South Africa in the 21st century - science correspondence

Volume 115 Number 11-12
  • ISSN : 0038-2353
  • E-ISSN: 1996-7489



In South Africa, teaching science at a tertiary institution faces a particular confluence of societal forces which can be seen as a major threat to the educational effort. These forces include strong pressure from the government to accept a mark of 30% at the school exit level as ‘university entrance’; a call for a decolonised curriculum; and an increasing prevalence of conversation around the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These then translate rather crudely into a sense that we have students who are less prepared, aiming to achieve preparation for a job market no-one knows about, using a curriculum that we have to make up from scratch. Of course, to put it in these terms is to both trivialise the issue and to problematise it in such a way that we have no recourse other than to sit around wringing our hands, lamenting for the good old days when we were students.

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