SA’s maths and science second worst of 144 countries

2013-04-17 00:00

IT’S no secret that South Africa continues to struggle with the quality of its maths and science teaching, despite hefty monetary injections from the government.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) confirmed this once again in its Global Information Technology Report 2013, which was released this month.

According to the report, South Africa ranked second worst, beating only Yemen, in the assessment of the quality of maths and science, ranking 143 out of 144 countries. Singapore was ranked number one.

South Africa’s education quality was ranked 140.

“Quality education is how well the education system in your country meets the need of a competitive economy,” the report said.

The WEF is an independent international organisation that engages with business, political, academic and other leaders to shape global, regional and industry agendas in order to improve the state of the world.

South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) executive director Professor Johann Engelbrecht said the SA situation in maths was worrying.

SAMF is a section 21 company that aims to advance the develoment of mathematics education.

Engelbrecht told The Witness South Africa’s economic future depended on quality education and that drastic measures needed to be taken to improve it.

Many rural teachers were not qualified and they lack commitment and management, said Engelbrecht.

“I don’t blame them because the treatment we’re giving them is not good enough. We should be rewarding them for the work that they do.”

Engelbrecht said rural children had a lot of talent in maths — they just needed to be trained.

But the situation was not all doom and gloom, Engelbrecht said; there had been an improvement noted in the 2012 matric results.

“Yes, we’re improving gradually but too slowly,” he said.

Democratic Alliance Education spokesperson Anne Lovemore said: “We can no longer deny the fact that our education system has limped down the international rankings and is in dire need of intervention.”

However, she welcomed the recent establishment by the Minister of Basic Education of a special task team to investigate the progress of teaching programmes in maths, science and technology.

The Department of Education declined to comment yesterday, saying it had commented on the issue in January. However, the 2013 report was issued only this month.

SA versus its neighbours

143 out of 144 SA

50 Zimbabwe

66 Botswana

110 Swaziland

127 Namibia

131 Mozambique

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.