Zim ahead of SA in schooling

2012-09-13 00:00

SOUTH Africa ranks 52nd in 144 economies, according to the 2012/2013 report on global competitiveness released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

But SA’s maths and sciences rate second last among all the countries.

The WEF also places SA at 132 out of 144 countries when it comes to the quality of its health and primary education and 115 when it comes to admission of pupils to primary schools.

Other shortcomings are in secondary education and the training sector, which, the report points out, places SA at 140 of 144 in these categories.

The health and primary education facilities in Zimbabwe comes comes in at 119, Tanzania at 113 and Malawi at 124.

Countries that list lower than SA are Lesotho, Mali, Nigeria, Swaziland and Mozambique.

The best primary school education is in Finland, Belgium, Singapore, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Iceland and Canada.

Graeme Bloch, an independent expert on teaching, said the numbers came as no surprise for teachers and confirmed that teaching in SA was in crisis.

SA’s overall ranking for basic requirements is 84th.

Bloch said this improvement was probably because SA boasted a few world-class universities, although the WEF states that more students have to enrol in SA to improve the country’s innovation potential.

The WEF measures countries’ competitiveness using 12 pillars.

These include institutions, infrastructure, macro-economic conditions, efficiency of markets, health care and primary education, secondary schools as well as training.

Despite its low-scoring classrooms, SA does boast the most competitive economy in sub-Saharan Africa, and it ranks among the top 30 on issues like property rights.

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