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Disadvantages of Outcome Based Education

Despite the many advantages and benefits of an OBE approach it does have some drawbacks in the South African context. In fact, I would argue that one of the major reasons why OBE is not implemented as effectively as it could, is that ETD consultants and managers neglect the impact of these disadvantages. Detailed planning is required to deal with these disadvantages and to manage this change process effectively. The disadvantages of OBE are as follows:

    *Most learners are not ready to adapt to OBE because the gap between a trainer-led system and a learner-centred approach does not happen overnight.
    *OBE requires that all learning material be rewritten which requires a major investment in time and resources.
    *The process of generating and registering of unit standards is very slow.
    *SAQA structures are bureaucratic and by their very nature inhibit the good intentions of an OBE approach.
    *People with vested interests and strong personalities in standard-generating bodies may manipulate the standard setting process to achieve their own objectives.
    *OBE requires quality assurance systems which were not part of the previous educational dispensation.
    *The scope and greater variety and application of OBE assessment methods are extremely time-consuming to implement.
    *All trainers must be retrained to acquire the knowledge, values and competencies to implement OBE.
    *The rapid changes in the modern work environment often require shot-term followup training, a situation in which training staff can not wait for unit standards to be generated or updated.

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