Directions (Q No. 1-10): In the following passage some of the words have been left out, each of which is indicated by a number beside which a word is given in bold. Find the suitable word from the options given against each number and fill up the blanks with appropriate words to make the paragraph meaningfully complete. If the given word beside the blank is correct, the answer will be (e), i.e. given below.

AFTER half an hour of pencil-chewing Lizeka Rantsan’s class lines up at her desk to [1] hand down its maths tests. The teacher at Oranjekloof primary school in Cape Town thanks the 11- and 12-year-olds and [2] flicks through the papers. Ms Rantsan sighs, unimpressed. Pulling one sheet of [3] errand scribbles from the pile she asks: “How are we supposed to help these children?”

It is a question that South Africa is failing to answer. In a league table of education systems drawn up in 2015 by the OECD club of mainly rich countries, South Africa ranks 75th out of 76. In November the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), a quadrennial test sat by 580,000 pupils in 57 countries, had South Africa at or near the bottom of its various rankings, though its scores had improved since 2011. Its children are behind those in poorer parts of the continent. A shocking 27% of pupils who have attended school for six years cannot read, compared with 4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe. After five years of school about half cannot [4] coverage that 24 divided by three is eight. Only 37% of children starting school [5] progressed to pass the matriculation exam; just 4% earn a degree.

South Africa has the most unequal school system in the world, says Nic Spaull of the University of Stellenbosch. The gap in test scores between the top 20% of schools and the rest is wider than in almost every other country. Of 200 black pupils who start school just one can expect to do [6] well enough to study engineering. Ten white kids can expect the same result.

Many of the problems have their roots in [7] violence. The Bantu Education Act of 1953 set out to ensure that whites received a better education than blacks, who were, according to Hendrik Verwoerd, the future prime minister then in [8] renunciation of education, to be educated only enough to be “hewers of wood and drawers of water”. Black pupils received about a fifth of the funding of white [9] children. They were taught almost no maths or science. Most independent [10] churn-operated schools that provided a good education in black areas were shut.

  1. (a) hand out                (b) hand in            (c) parcel out

    (d)   mete out             (e) given word

  1. (a) turns in                   (b) goes down       (c) hankers after

    (d)   hunkers down  (e) given word

  1. (a) errant                     (b) erratic               (c) erotic

    (d)   sporadic            (e) given word

  1. (a) yield to                   (b) work out          (c) sell out

    (d)   sell off               (e) given word

  1. (a) go down                 (b) charge in          (c) look down upon

   (d)   go on                  (e) given word

  1. (a) enough well           (b) mark down     (c) trickle up

     (d)   trickle down          (e) given word

  1. (a) ghetto                     (b) ghoul                (c) apartheid

      (d)   telling                 (e) given word

  1. (a) misappropriation (b) misgiving         (c) appropriation

      (d)   charge                (e) given word

  1. (a) peers                       (b) issue                 (c) pupils

        (d)   disciples             (e) given word

  1. (a) church-gate           (b)  churched     (c)church-controlled

      (d)   church-run       (e) given word

ANS. 1. b 2. e 3. a 4. b 5. d 6. e 7. c 8. d 9. a 10. d

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