Thursday, October 25, 2012

Higher Education South Africa & CAT

Dear CAT teachers

You want the latest info re designated subjects and CAT - get out your tissues and then read. My comments are withheld. This mail was sent to me. I have removed info re the writer.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Abbey Mathekga <>
Date: 25 October 2012 08:17


Thank you for your enquiry.

The minimum admission requirement policy document for higher certificate, diploma and degree programmes requiring NSC of August 2005 and revised May 2008 enjoins HESA to review the designated subjects list after three years. HESA has accordingly embarked on the this review and research was conducted the paper was presented at the various conferences and it was further fine tuned and consulted with various stakeholders and HESA sub committees before it was presented to HESA Board. The general findings were that whilst there are merits and demerits of placing some subjects on the designated list, decisive action cannot be taken until the throughput data of learners who took designated subjects has completed degree studies. In other words, we still need to get the data of students who completed degree studies with NSC in order to analyze this data and make sense of who passed with designated subjects and those who did not. This empirical evidence will help HESA determine whether designated subjects are required or not. We expect this data to be available from Department of Higher Education and Training by 2014 and changes could be made by 2015.


Mr. Abbey Mathekga


Anonymous said...

So ultimately this means that all subjects are equal, just that some are more equal than others. I just don't see the point. The subject will never get the learners it could get. Existing learners will work harder and harder and because it's not on the designated list - a low mark in a designated subject could jeopardise their chances at further study. And schools will continue to phase the subject out - why spend all that money when learners could be compromised? Maybe I need to teach a "real" subject???

Anonymous said...

rhindgSchools that phase out the subject, in my opinion, have no insight and are not acting in the interest of their learners (to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to survive the 21st century), but in their own interest (to 'look good' as they only offer designated subjects and they can boast about their number of learners getting university exemption - all a number's game) The fact that many of these learners will end up NOT going to univeristy and evenrually also not having skills to survive in the work place, does not matter.

It is selfish an all about image/ego

Anonymous said...

A number's game indeed! All schools, districts and provinces are set targets. Nothing should stnand in the way of meeting these - not even learners' interests.
Scenario: School only offers designated subjects and mostly 'gateway' subjects.
Learner passess Grade 12 (Maths, Science, Accounting Economics), 30%for all - cannot go to university and have no skills to enter the workplace because one can do nothing with those subjects on that pass level.
What if they offered CAT in the place of one and got 60 or 70%?

Anonymous said...

The designated list is a joke.
Maths Lit, Consumer Studies and Business Studies are 'designated'. Compare these and their assessements with CAT and CAT's assessments. Then one begins to have serious questions.
What CAT demands in Excel and Access are of higher cognitive levels that I have seen in Maths Lit Grade 12 papers.

Anonymous said...

I agree, CAT should be on the designated list. It is similar to Cambridge A-level subject, Applied Information and Communication Technology.

Anonymous said...

"...make sense of who passed with designated subjects and those who did not...

I know I am not as learned as the HESA people, but the above sentence does not make sense?
Learners need designated subjects to get to university in the first place, so who are those that do not pass with designated subjects? Surely those that pass all had designated subjects? Maybe not all their subjects were designated, but they should have had at least 4?

CAT teacher said...

I totally agree. Cat should be a designated subject. The skills used from CAT is used more than any other subject in University . This needs to be done urgently as the number of CAT learners each year is decreasing

Dr Pam Miller said...

Every teacher should push it. I have even added something to my email signature - 'Encourage all grade 9s to choose CAT as a matric subject if they want to go to university or live and work in the 21st century, else do not complain about struggling at university or unemployment.' We must all work on this!

Anonymous said...

How do they analyse the data - with MS excel - I hope the folks at HESA have done CAT ;-)
Why don't you start a petition perhaps an online one like on