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BlomBesie

Education Culture Fair: South African Culture Booth

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Welcome to the school systems in South Africa!

 

I was born in and continue to thrive here in South Africa. The basics:

 

 

School

The System: Overall

* We work in grades. You start with grade 0, and proceed to grade 12.

* Our school year starts in January, usually mid, and ends in December, usually beginning. 

 

* The year is separated into four quarterly terms.

* School times vary, but are most often from 07:30 up to 14:00, with two breaks of 10 minutes and 15-20 minutes respectively.

 

Preschool

Preschool is also known as grade 0. That is the age of 6 years old.

5-year old's attend grade R, 4-year old's grade RR. Before that, it is preferable that they stay at daycare, or such.

 

Primary School

Starting from the age of 7 (Grade 1), they proceed through to the age of 13 (Grade 7).

Up to Grade 3 is known as Early Childhood Development: Foundation Phase. Grade 4 up to Grade 9 is the Intermediate and Senior Phase. 

All students have all the subjects, and these include Afrikaans, English, Mathematics, Natural Science, Human Social Sciences, Life Orientation.

All students starts moving between the classes, and thus the separate teachers & subjects, from grade 4.

 

High School (Secondary School)

High school is from age 14 (Grade 8) to the age of 18 (Grade 12, also known as Matric). 

From the first you can choose to have Afrikaans/English as either first and/or second language. (One has to be a first language). You have to have mathematics, life orientation, human social sciences, natural sciences, economic and business science, arts & crafts/culture. In grade 8&9, you have a choice of two subjects to include in the normal weekly periods: You can choose between French, German, Drama, Art, Engineer graphics and design, Civil technology, Electric, Music, IT, Type. You are also allowed to take 2 additional subjects after school.

Grade 10-12 you only have to have Afrikaans, English, Mathematics and Life Orientation, with an additional 3 choice subjects in school time.

 

Special Education

We do have some special schools, as required. There are also some all boys and all girls schools. We have public schools, with normal fees and that most students attend. Private schools are less frequent, and more expensive. These schools may have different rules and regulations.

 

Grading System

Each mark is indicated as a %. 80% and higher is a distinction.

 

After School

You can study at a university or college if you were graded high enough. You can also study through a mail system, with for example, UNISA - University of South Africa. There are simple diploma and certificate options for those not fortunate enough to be able to attend a university or college.

 

 

Feel free to ask about anything I may have missed.

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It's a subject to include all kinds of things.

 

These include teaching about STD's, Aids (since we're SA). Also study methods, personality tests, tests to determine what you should become.

Additionally, the "gym" class is include in Life Orientation - it was one half hour per week.

 

 

An article for more information: http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?pid=S0256-01002011000200005&script=sci_arttext

Edited by BlomBesie

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So sad that you need extra education about aids. :(  

 

I have a question about history. Do you read about African history or European history (or a little of both)? 

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So sad that you need extra education about aids. :(  

 

I have a question about history. Do you read about African history or European history (or a little of both)? 

 

Yeah, we are informed of AIDS, as well as Malaria. It's not too bad - we are so used to it that it's nothing out of the ordinary at all. Basically, protection, or closed legs. We are brought up like this.

 

Mostly African history. We are taught the major battles between South Africa and its various enemies - these include Europe when they wanted to claim us, but it also includes the fight between the Boere and the Zulu's, and such. The most recent war was not long ago - so that my dad had to go fight in the border war (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Border_War) (little more than 20 years ago). You are taught about the most important ones, such as Hitler, Napoleon and the world wars. There might have been more, but those are the major ones I remember.

 

 

 

So you're at school year round. Are there any breaks or vacations in that?

 

Yes! The longest break is the month and 1/2 weeks over December, beginning January. That's our summer vacation.

We have 3 weeks (up to a month) in June/July - our winter break. 

In the middle of the first and second, and third and fourth, quarter terms, there's a week vacation. Sometimes 2 weeks.

We also have our public holidays (very little, actually http://www.publicholiday.co.za/) but these may sometimes give you an additional off day: if, for example, the vacation day is on Tuesday, you may sometimes have a school holiday on the Monday.

We don't get snow, so "snow days" are out of the question. We also don't get off if it's too hot or too cold. The most we get is to be allowed to wear sneakers or non-school uniform jackets when it's really cold.

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Does everyone wear a school uniform? 

 

Yes. Always. (Of course, the private schools may differ, but it's usually uniform). We have special "sivvy/casual" days, where everyone wears what they want. 

 

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So sad that you need extra education about aids. :(  

 

I have a question about history. Do you read about African history or European history (or a little of both)? 

 

Yeah, we are informed of AIDS, as well as Malaria. It's not too bad - we are so used to it that it's nothing out of the ordinary at all. Basically, protection, or closed legs. We are brought up like this.

 

Mostly African history. We are taught the major battles between South Africa and its various enemies - these include Europe when they wanted to claim us, but it also includes the fight between the Boere and the Zulu's, and such. The most recent war was not long ago - so that my dad had to go fight in the border war (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Border_War) (little more than 20 years ago). You are taught about the most important ones, such as Hitler, Napoleon and the world wars. There might have been more, but those are the major ones I remember.

 

Here in America, for the elementary years we learn primarily American history, and will learn about what was going on in other countries if it crossed the ocean, and then later on once there's a variety of classes you can learn American History more in depth, but there's also World History and European history classes offered. 

 

So you're at school year round. Are there any breaks or vacations in that?

 

Yes! The longest break is the month and 1/2 weeks over December, beginning January. That's our summer vacation.

We have 3 weeks (up to a month) in June/July - our winter break. 

In the middle of the first and second, and third and fourth, quarter terms, there's a week vacation. Sometimes 2 weeks.

We also have our public holidays (very little, actually http://www.publicholiday.co.za/) but these may sometimes give you an additional off day: if, for example, the vacation day is on Tuesday, you may sometimes have a school holiday on the Monday.

We don't get snow, so "snow days" are out of the question. We also don't get off if it's too hot or too cold. The most we get is to be allowed to wear sneakers or non-school uniform jackets when it's really cold.

It took me a moment to remember that your seasons are flip-flopped compared to ours :P silly sleepy brain.

 

It's interesting that you don't have snow; I thought you would so far south. It can be quite a problem here. And if cold or heat is enough of a problem that the little ones would be in danger while waiting for the bus, then school is cancelled. 

 

 

Do you like your schools having uniforms? Only some have it here, though many think it should be more common place. 

Edited by Aiel Heart

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Do girls have to have a dress/skirt? 

 

It differs. Mostly, yes. Our cultures aren't very accepting of LGBT people.

In primary school, the girls wear dresses, and there may be an option of trousers in the winter.

 

In high school, we allow more freedom. They may wear trousers all the time, but they have to wear the shirt (usually a white or yellow neat shirt) with it. 

There is specific socks, type of shoes (no shoelaces!), hair rules...

 

No make-up. No jewelry, except a single set of earrings - either plain rings, or small, round studs. Your hair has to be out of your eyes completely. Nails have to be trimmed short at all times (they actually check!). Also, no painting of nails, unless it is clear cutex (nail polish). 

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It took me a moment to remember that your seasons are flip-flopped compared to ours :P silly sleepy brain.

 

It's interesting that you don't have snow; I thought you would so far south. It can be quite a problem here. And if cold or heat is enough of a problem that the little ones would be in danger while waiting for the bus, then school is cancelled. 

 

 

Do you like your schools having uniforms? Only some have it here, though many think it should be more common place. 

 

 

Down South, Cape Town -ish, we have winter rain, so that it may be really cold there. Up where I am, Johannesburg/Pretoria -ish, we get summer rain. So it's really nice - not too cold in the winter (lowest it can possibly go is -10 degrees, and then it only lasts until the sun attacks at about 9 am).

 

I adore wearing uniforms. Most people will say they don't like hiding their individuality, but practically, everyone loves it. It's cheaper for parents - I wore 2 school dresses throughout my entire 5 years of high school. You can get by with just having 5 pairs of socks, 5 shirts, a single set of shoes (unless you grow incredibly fast ofc). Additionally, you can sell and buy second-hand, which is also cheaper. 

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Do girls have to have a dress/skirt? 

 

It differs. Mostly, yes. Our cultures aren't very accepting of LGBT people.

In primary school, the girls wear dresses, and there may be an option of trousers in the winter.

 

In high school, we allow more freedom. They may wear trousers all the time, but they have to wear the shirt (usually a white or yellow neat shirt) with it. 

There is specific socks, type of shoes (no shoelaces!), hair rules...

 

No make-up. No jewelry, except a single set of earrings - either plain rings, or small, round studs. Your hair has to be out of your eyes completely. Nails have to be trimmed short at all times (they actually check!). Also, no painting of nails, unless it is clear cutex (nail polish). 

 

 

Wow! This is a big difference between our cultures. 

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Ahaha, yes. 

 

It's also very funny - on casual days, because our people aren't used to it, they go all out with the comments and bickering (like on all the movies they've seen). For example, saying a girl's skirt is waaayyyy too short!

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You can either apply for bursaries, or work. Parents can also pay, ofc.

 

There are many bursary opportunities, especially for "less privileged" people. Many students work part-time jobs - waiter etc. I help present classes. The better you do in school, the higher your chances for bursaries/funding.

 

Additionally, as in my case, many students study pregrad without funding. Payed by parents. It was 3 years. From then on out, I've had funding for specific projects (honours degree and currently master's) which is paying my everything.

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The pictures of the guys in Green jackets... is that a private school?

 

Nope. Normal school. Those kinds of jackets is always available, and compulsory to the prefects in grade 12. My guess is that it is simply a photo of a rugby team at the school.

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How many students are in a year in a school and how many students per class?

How many students are taught by a teacher in a period? OR how many students does a teacher teach in one period?

What is the duration of school day?

What is the time table of an average student?

What are the provisions to help above average or excellent students?

What are the provisions to help those lagging behind?

What kind of competitions are held intra and inter school?

What kind of clubs are in function in most schools?

What is the average expenditure on a education for a student per year?

How much flexibility do students have in picking their classes?

How it is determined if a student is passing or failing a grade?

Are students expected to work after school?

How much importance is given to sports?

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Ahaha, Panchi, you just made my day. I love answering questions. Okay, let's see...

 

How many students are in a year in a school and how many students per class?
It depends on the school. Private schools have less students. A normal, public school (which are the most frequent across SA) has between 28 and 35 (sometimes 40!) students per class. Each grade (year group) has between 7 and 10 classes. 
So... for high school (secondary schools, grade 8 - 12) that'll be about 1500 students per year in the school.
Primary schools (grade 1 - 7) have a bit less students (we keep the classes a bit smaller so that they get the proper attention that they require) - will be about 1000 students per year.
 
How many students are taught by a teacher in a period? OR how many students does a teacher teach in one period?
The students are the same size the classes are, up until high school where they can choose specified subjects. So, in a normal class, that'll be one teacher per 30 students per period. The specified subjects (such as French) may be less if less students took the subject. My year group only had 3 French students (of which I wasn't even one of them!)
 
What is the duration of school day?
The school day is from 07:30 to 14:00 every day. 
We do not have daylight saving time, so the times do not change. 
 
What is the time table of an average student?
The time table? Mmmm. Let me see if I can find a picture of what my time table looked like...
ExcelClassCompact.jpg
 
From 07:30 to 08:00 is usually assembly time, which is why there's no class scheduled there. 
 
What are the provisions to help above average or excellent students?
Euhm... discount. The better the student does, the less the student has to pay. *shrug*
We also have a top 20 and they each get some money (with the top 3 getting the most) at the end of the school year, and you get this cute badge that you can wear to show off your genius. Ahaha!
 
What are the provisions to help those lagging behind?
There are none. These students can choose to attend additional classes which are available after school (but of course cost extra). Some subjects (I think our school only had this for math) have additional classes after school if you'd like to get some extra help. There are also always after school  "daycare" with people that can help you, and if you ask a teacher specifically to help you with something, I don't think he/she will have a problem to help.
 
What kind of competitions are held intra and inter school?
LOTS. LOOOOTTTSSS.
Sports: Cricket, rugby, netball, hockey... euhm. Shooting, athletics... 
Mind: Science trivia, math trivia, debate, ... chess... 
Culture: Choir, dancing...
There's a LOT. Name it, and I'll tell you whether we have it, or not.
 
What kind of clubs are in function in most schools?
All of those mentioned above. 
 
What is the average expenditure on a education for a student per year? 
High school is more expensive than primary school, at between R8 000 and R20 000 per year. I'm going to go with R15 000 for now, which is $1163 and 744 pound.
Private schools are MUCH more expensive due to much smaller classes and much more care given to students. 
Most after school activities (clubs) are free, but you have to pay for things like sport gear and such.
 
How much flexibility do students have in picking their classes?
In primary school - none. 
In high school - from grade 8-9, very little. You are allowed to choose 2 additional subjects for during normal class hours, and others for after hours if you'd like to. (I had 14 subjects during grade 8-9, but I was a bit of a I WANT TO DO EVERYTHING kind of person). Grade 10-12 you have to have English, Afrikaans, Life Orientation and Math, and then you have to choose 3 additional subjects for during normal class hours.

 

High School (Secondary School)

High school is from age 14 (Grade 8) to the age of 18 (Grade 12, also known as Matric). 

From the first you can choose to have Afrikaans/English as either first and/or second language. (One has to be a first language). You have to have mathematics, life orientation, human social sciences, natural sciences, economic and business science, arts & crafts/culture. In grade 8&9, you have a choice of two subjects to include in the normal weekly periods: You can choose between French, German, Drama, Art, Engineer graphics and design, Civil technology, Electric, Music, IT, Type. You are also allowed to take 2 additional subjects after school.

Grade 10-12 you only have to have Afrikaans, English, Mathematics and Life Orientation, with an additional 3 choice subjects in school time.

 
 
How it is determined if a student is passing or failing a grade?
 

Grading System

Each mark is indicated as a %. 80% and higher is a distinction.

 
You fail a subject when you have less than 40%. You only fail the grade, though, if you fail Afrikaans, English, Math, or Life Orientation.
 
Are students expected to work after school? 
After grade 12, yes. You can either work, work & study part time, or study full time (which isn't working, and is a LOT of fun).
After 14:00 on a normal school day - not at all. Never. Very few people do this, and it's really only done by people who either need the funds, people who are bored (I wasn't, due to mannnnyyyy extracurricular activities), or by people who just want the experience (my brother did this).
 
How much importance is given to sports?
Just as much as for any other extracurricular activity. It is entirely your choice. If you are incredibly good at something though, some schools may fight for you. 
In the high school I was, a few of the rugby players were "bought" - payed to be there, everything payed for. These students often become incredibly important for sport in the entire country - Elton Jantjies is a rugby player that graduated one year before me. He is now a part of the South African rugby team.
Edited by BlomBesie

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On 8/4/2015 at 3:15 PM, BlomBesie said:

Welcome to the school systems in South Africa!

 

I was born in and continue to thrive here in South Africa. The basics:

 

 

School

The System: Overall

* We work in grades. You start with grade 0, and proceed to grade 12.

* Our school year starts in January, usually mid, and ends in December, usually beginning. 

 

* The year is separated into four quarterly terms.

* School times vary, but are most often from 07:30 up to 14:00, with two breaks of 10 minutes and 15-20 minutes respectively.

 

Preschool

Preschool is also known as grade 0. That is the age of 6 years old.

5-year old's attend grade R, 4-year old's grade RR. Before that, it is preferable that they stay at daycare, or such.

 

Primary School

Starting from the age of 7 (Grade 1), they proceed through to the age of 13 (Grade 7).

Up to Grade 3 is known as Early Childhood Development: Foundation Phase. Grade 4 up to Grade 9 is the Intermediate and Senior Phase. 

All students have all the subjects, and these include Afrikaans, English, Mathematics, Natural Science, Human Social Sciences, Life Orientation.

All students starts moving between the classes, and thus the separate teachers & subjects, from grade 4.

 

High School (Secondary School)

High school is from age 14 (Grade 😎 to the age of 18 (Grade 12, also known as Matric). 

From the first you can choose to have Afrikaans/English as either first and/or second language. (One has to be a first language). You have to have mathematics, life orientation, human social sciences, natural sciences, economic and business science, arts & crafts/culture. In grade 8&9, you have a choice of two subjects to include in the normal weekly periods: You can choose between French, German, Drama, Art, Engineer graphics and design, Civil technology, Electric, Music, IT, Type. You are also allowed to take 2 additional subjects after school.

Grade 10-12 you only have to have Afrikaans, English, Mathematics and Life Orientation, with an additional 3 choice subjects in school time.

 

Special Education

We do have some special schools, as required. There are also some all boys and all girls schools. We have public schools, with normal fees and that most students attend. Private schools are less frequent, and more expensive. These schools may have different rules and regulations.

 

Grading System

Each mark is indicated as a %. 80% and higher is a distinction.

 

After School

You can study at a university or college if you were graded high enough. You can also study through a mail system, with for example, UNISA - University of South Africa. There are simple diploma and certificate options for those not fortunate enough to be able to attend a university or college.

 

 

Feel free to ask about anything I may have missed.

The educational system in South Africa is the same as in many countries. I want to talk about what kind of educational system is in America. Kindergartens are not very popular in America. Parents prefer that their children study with their nannies or with them at home. Children go to primary school at 5 years. Children graduate from primary school at 11 or 12 years old. Children who are smart and who study for each class one year, finish school at 11 years old. Children who have difficulties with learning, and who repeat their studies in a certain class, finish school at 12 years old. Children go to secondary school at 11 or 12 years old and children finish high school at 14 or 15 years old. A high school has a duration of 3 years. For graduation from school, a student must write a graduation paper with which the college essay writing service www.paperial.com can help and a student must pass exams which belong to different fields: such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and so on. After a student finishes school, he or she can go to college where he or she will study for 2 years or may go to college or university in which he or she will study for 4 years. In order to enter a college in which students study for two years, or to enter a college or university in which students study for 4 years, a student must pass the entrance exams and have a card in which there are good grades received at school. After graduating from a college or university which obliges a student to study for 4 years - a student can enroll in a magistracy and study there for 2 years. In conclusion, a master can study 3–6 years in order to obtain a doctor’s degree.

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