Matrics performed poorly in maths - official

2011-12-30 22:06

Pretoria - Umalusi's chairperson has expressed concern on Friday at the poor performance in mathematics during the matric exams, as he announced that approval has been given for the results to be released.

Without revealing the pass rate in this subject, chairperson Sizwe Mabizela said: "We should be concerned about the poor performance in mathematics."

Umalusi, the council for quality assurance in general and further education and training, said matric exams managed by the basic education department (DBE) and Independent Examinations Board (IEB) were "valid, fair and credible", chairperson Sizwe Mabizela told reporters in Pretoria.

"Umalusi is satisfied that nothing has been compromised."

He said 620 000 students sat the DBE's examinations. The raw marks for 56 subjects were accepted, while the marks of three subjects were moderated upwards. Another eight subjects were moderated slightly downwards.

It was "significant" that 80% of the raw marks for the DBE were accepted without any adjustment.

Mabizela said 8 281 candidates wrote IEB examinations. They wrote 60 subjects, two of which were not National Senior Certificate subjects.

He said for 45 subjects the raw marks had been accepted, while for five subjects the marks were moderated upwards. The remaining 10 had their marks decreased.

The IEB still had to announce when the results would be released.

Mabizela said any adjustments were "significantly below" the maximum 10% allowed.

The results of examinations by the Eksamenraad vir Christelike Onderwys were problematic for the second year running.

"Umalusi has serious concerns about Eksamenraad vir Christelike Onderwys' ability and capacity to run a successful examination process.

These concerns range from their ability to set question papers of an appropriate standard to the actual management and conduct of the examinations process."

He said year marks of all ECO candidates had not been accepted and candidates' results were solely based on their examination results.

"Umalusi declares that the moderated marks are a fair reflection of learner performance in the examinations administered by ECO."

Mabizela said that 1 273 candidates sat the matric exams administered by ECO.

The raw marks for 18 subjects were accepted, while three subjects were moderated upwards slightly.

The 39 subjects where ECO had used questions papers set by DBE were approved without reservations.

  • Perfume5 - 2011-12-30 22:20

    Poor performance in Maths, who is to blame the teacher or the pupil...hmmmmmm. I await responses with abated breath.

      bradleybrits - 2011-12-30 22:26

      both to blame but mostly the pupil. I went to a public school (former model C) and had no maths teacher for probably half of highschool when adding up all the time spent with no teacher over the 5 years but continued to study alone and manage distinctions in maths and did additional maths and then also at university. If the students are serious no matter how poor the teachers they'll succeed if they have the brains and put in the effort.. I blame both though.. just mediocrity all round..

      Mike - 2011-12-30 22:35

      No, NO!!! I believe from 2013 the government is going to change the name "MATHEMATICS" to "TAXEMATICS"!!? NO-ONE will pass!!!

      Mike - 2011-12-30 22:39

      In my opinion the issue starts at home. A lax attitude towards education in general and the pure sciences in particular manifests in truancy and all round bad academic behavior. The problem is compounded by poorly trained teachers that are often absent from class and totally incompetent even when they are there. The allowances made within the syllabus that allows kids to drop maths and basic sciences add fat to the fire of poorly prepared school leavers. The creation of the biggest farce in education that is maths literacy will probably be hailed as the final nail in the coffin.

      Mike - 2011-12-30 22:48

      Sjoe Mike from Mike: Now that is a mouthfull! Maybe I have too many Black Labels in? Anyway, from what I understand you saying could make sense! No, it actually does!!

      Andre - 2011-12-31 02:08

      You mean "bated breath"

      George - 2011-12-31 07:05

      No Andre, he means abated breath, i guess he chowed down on some south coast sardines while he was out wait, thats Bait!!! newsflash, new word abaited, hic.

      Gungets - 2011-12-31 08:24

      Truth be told, it is the entire system that is failing the kids, b ut bear this in mind. The system includes the kids themselves, their parents, the teahers, school management, the Edcuation Department, government and private enterprise. Naturally part of this is parents who were denied a decent education themselves, but that excuse cannot be used forever. The kids need to get on with it. When my daughter is struggling and the school does not respond they get together in study groups and the strongest in each subject leads the effort. There is always something to be done, and laying blame is not "something", doing something is "something"

      Gungets - 2011-12-31 08:27

      And the cop-out of Maths Literacy is not something either. I have had a sneak preview of results, and to see kids who get 90% for Maths Lit getting a higher average than kids with 70% for Maths is simply diabolical. Kids with Maths Lit, LO and drama getting preferencial University Entrance to others with Maths, Bio and Phys Sci - come on!!

      Merven - 2011-12-31 09:51

      @Mike, or maybe they should change Mathematics to Tendermathics. then every one will pass.

      Twolips - 2011-12-31 12:12

      Perfume. Many factors are to blame, but especially OBE. I taught Maths for many years, but the OBE way of teaching was the pits. Besides the teachers not knowing what to do, in spite of numerous courses, the pupils are either scared of the subject or have no interest in it. The various sections in the syllabus are covered too quickly, with very little consolidation in each section before the next section is rushed into. I could write an essay on this, but will leave it here for now.

      Willie - 2011-12-31 12:51

      Department officials and Government officials are to be blamed for the poor performance in Maths. They suppose to make sure that there are enough teachers who can teach Maths and who is willing to teach Maths and who CAN TEACH MATHS.

      roger.pacey - 2011-12-31 13:56

      My experience, the teacher makes a major difference. Maths went from being my worst subject to my best in the space of a year, the only difference being the new teacher.

      Jeandre - 2012-01-01 13:23

      You can only lead a horse to the water, you can't force him to drink!!!

      Peter - 2012-01-02 07:10

      At this stage I think the pupils are mostly to blame. They have the most lax attitude toward learning and can conveniently blame the teacher for all their failings. Until an institution can take back the power to fail a pupil who is not performing, without the pupil then burning the institution to the ground in protest, this country will never offer credible qualifications to their students.

  • AyGeewils - 2011-12-30 22:30

    Without mathematics we will never become a producing country. The government needs to start making it clear to the educators in this country that a Ba degree is not worth squat - If we are ever to rise to a global economy, we will have to start doing some proper maths!

      AyGeewils - 2011-12-30 22:32

      I am refering to this 'new' maths called 'Maths Lit' basically watered down Arithmetic!

      AyGeewils - 2011-12-30 22:55

      Is it not a slap in the face of all those who fought for a decent education for all - considering what Vewoerd said about not teaching maths to black people. It seems they are not interested in the subject anyway - a great pity and wasted opportunity.

      Mike - 2011-12-30 22:59

      At least they were trying during the census of 2011? A 120,000 field workers x 20 (10 fingers and 10 toes (?)) x 21 days = a population of 50.4 million! All accounted for! More or less?

      Peter - 2011-12-31 23:26

      @AyGeeWils...this is a generational thing and it has nothing to do with color. Kids all over the world don't like to learn numeracy skills and Europe is even worse than Africa.Things are now too easy for them.They have all the gadgets they need and an easier lifestyle so why maths..they are not bothered.?.

      AyGeewils - 2012-01-01 10:15

      Peter - yes I agree it has nothing to do with colour - my point is a socio-political one - Considering the past and lack of opportunity for the majority which happen to be black; it surprises me that these folk are not grabbing hold of the subjects that will open the door to greater achievement in medicine, civil engineering, electronics, electrical engineering, computer technology and many more disciplines vital to our development - all of which cannot be reached without the highest level of mathematics.

      Twolips - 2012-01-05 00:49

      AGW. Maths Lit is intended for those pupils who have very little Mathematics ability. It's a bit like the old Arithmetic syllabus with other skills thrown in. It was intended for those wanting to be entrepreneurs and wanting to start something on their own. Maths Lit does not qualify one for Varsity entrance.

  • Thokozani-Mfankhona Buda-Teekay Mkhwanazi-ENkemben - 2011-12-30 22:33

    I think as educators we should improve in teaching maths, and intergrate it with all subjects. as the challenge is literacy in this learners

      Johnny - 2011-12-31 02:00

      Maybe the challenge is the educators?

      George - 2011-12-31 07:07

      Thoko, you surely are challenged.

      Merven - 2011-12-31 09:58

      Improve in teaching maths,... the challenge is literacy? Thoko, if you were not a AA candidate, you would've been qualified to be a descent maths (or literacy for that matter) teacher. That is the problem with AA, you get people not qualified to do the job (and no, a 3 month teaching 'diploma' is not a real qualification). And the innocent children suffer due to it, and of course their incompetence get blamed on Apartheid.

      Pauline Hanekom - 2011-12-31 12:07

      Thoko, I agree that language is a huge problem even in Maths, but it will only improve if the teacher's English improve AND all classes are presented in proper English for learners that have to write English papers! But thanks for realising that it's a teaching problem! There are so many black learners with HUGE potential if teachers would just help them!!

      louisdiemasjien - 2011-12-31 23:46

      The challenge is "literacy"? Are you sure?

  • Ian - 2011-12-30 23:05

    whats the pass rate now, 2%

      Perfume5 - 2011-12-30 23:30

      Must be below that.

      Kate - 2011-12-31 08:24

      Why must the marks be pushed up or down? What you know and don't know is the matter here. The stupid ones who think they are clever are going to look idiots later

  • ben.d.benny - 2011-12-30 23:34

    Adjustment of marks is a good thing to do because some learners are only short of two or two percent to get a pass and these learners perform well at tertiary level. So please do us a favour and adjust marks where necessary.

      Sean - 2011-12-31 10:21

      Easy way out , I don`t think so ! Where are you going to draw the line ??

  • ben.d.benny - 2011-12-30 23:36

    Adjustment of learners' marks by Umalusi is a good thing to do because some learners are short of only two marks or two percent and these learners perform well at tertiary level. So please do them a favour and adjust their marks where necessary

      Silver - 2011-12-31 00:22

      So what happens to the ones who didn’t make it by 4% after a 2% upwards adjustment?

      kgomotso - 2011-12-31 01:28

      You passed by default

      Wesley - 2011-12-31 06:13

      Is it default or de-fault

      Silver - 2011-12-31 08:01

      @kgomotso: So that is why the government uses the word “challenge” so much. Does that mean people are “challenged” by default?

      Merven - 2011-12-31 10:00

      And that my friends, is why Africa will always be a third world country.

  • Motho - 2011-12-30 23:46

    I have studied in South Africa and Europe, Europe has similar problems in mathematics as in South Africa. Unfortunately, I don't have answers to mathematics problem but the problem is quite global than local.

      OzzyIn - 2011-12-31 00:41

      Really? REALLY? You are talking crap. Where in Europe for one? Secondly what is the maths problems? You do know 1+1 +3? Yes? (sarc)

      Dirk - 2011-12-31 09:25

      I cannot remember the detail, but even compared with international standards, SA was way back- I think second from bottom out of dozens of countries. Even compared with other African countries, SA fared badly. But there are schools in SA, mostly IEB and former model C schools, where high standards are maintained, but the government plays absolutely no role in those achievements

      louisdiemasjien - 2011-12-31 23:50

      Where in Europe? We know what the problem is in SA, we just aren't allowed to say it.

      Jacqui - 2012-01-01 21:20

      Look at the TIMMS reports - SA did not participate in 2007 = Pandor pulled the country out of the tests. The 2003 results are more revealing RSA comes last on the list every single time!

  • kgomotso - 2011-12-31 01:26

    If Umalusi continues to reduce the pass rate of mathematics and still inflate marks in order to reduce failure rate. Pupils will passes by default and you can imagine if they chose to become teacher and facilitate mathematic.

      Johnny - 2011-12-31 02:03


      Barefoot - 2011-12-31 07:26

      Don't drink and comment

      Merven - 2011-12-31 10:06

      So true TSO, but as I said above, that you can thank AA for. If there are not enough qualified teachers to fill the AA quota they must use the dumb ones and wola! Dumb children.

      Eish - 2012-01-01 11:54

      @Barefoot I wish I could say I was sober like a judge, but as you know our Judge Motata make us rephrase that statement.If u can check in my comment the like are 30 & unlike 0. Between me & you who is sober.

  • leko.dada1 - 2011-12-31 03:28


      colin.dovey - 2011-12-31 07:11

      Please don't "SHOUT" it pickles the brain

      Pauline Hanekom - 2011-12-31 08:45

      The problem still being that the country needs academics to plan and build its cities, businesses and capital to feed the masses, as the farmers are being killed or replaced by subsistance farmers! And for the practical side, if the new curriculum prepared the learners with practical skills it would have been GREAT, BUT it doesn't!!! The few that took Maths (not math literacy) who are supposedly the academics DID BAD!! The practical subjects are not offered at most schools where the learners are not taking Maths! So your explanation is COMPLETE and UTTER nonsense.

      Merven - 2011-12-31 10:08

      Yes leko, the country is now well balanced, dumb people like you are everywhere and not just in certain areas anymore!

      louisdiemasjien - 2011-12-31 23:58

      I bet you were a 'special' student. "...AND AFFECTING STUDENT'S PERFORMANCE.SATANIC AIM WAS TO PRODUCE 'DEPENDANCY' SPECIFICALLY TO BE EMPLOYED..." What does this mean? Satanic? Really? You almost sound as smart as Mugabe. What a winner!

      louisdiemasjien - 2012-01-01 00:02

      Blaming apartheid again? Really? Maybe your "SATANIC" stupidity is to blame.

      Pixie86 - 2012-01-01 00:54

      honestly i don't get what leko was raging about, but @pauline , to neatly tuck in the farm killing in a topic bout matrics is very crafty of you. You just can't help yourself can you?

      Jeandre - 2012-01-01 13:38

      "Satanic aim"????? Please elaborate

      Jeandre - 2012-01-01 13:46

      Satanic aim? That's a really interesting comment, considering that Christians schools (ERCO) are targeted by Umalusi,their marks not being accepted, does that mean that the education is inferior? Rather interesting that most Universities actually seek these IEB and ERCO matriculants, don't you think??

  • Peter - 2011-12-31 04:43

    Poor numeracy is bad news. Lack of literacy is even worse! As an educator, I am appalled by our nation's inability to read or write coherently. Witness comments on this site...

      George - 2011-12-31 07:13

      Peteralan, I am appalled that you are wasting time on a computer and not "educating" our youth. Oh there should only be one full stop after you end a sentence. <<<< like that.

      Gungets - 2011-12-31 08:51

      George - grow up. PeterAlan's comment is right on the mark and yours is out of order. If there are educators commenting then we should be listening, they are at the coalface and have the best opinions.

      Merven - 2011-12-31 10:12

      George, get educated, the ... is to indicate that you must think about it. I don't know how to explain it to someone like you.

      Jeandre - 2012-01-01 13:48

      Probably due to the fact that OBE teaches recognition of words , rather than sounding!

      MikeLearview - 2012-01-01 15:15

      Yes, Jeandre. Or maybe "Microsoft English" doesn't understand three dots.

  • braamc - 2011-12-31 05:42

    Can't blame apartheid anymore, even the rest of Africa the educational level and standard is higher and better than SA.

      leko.dada1 - 2011-12-31 06:22

      So true! the rest of Africa education level is by far ahead of SA's...why so if you dont accept apartheid created enslaving n poor level of education?

      braamc - 2011-12-31 06:40

      @leko. It is new generation matrics. I can remember from our domestic, that worked and retired from our household (with a pension)children, boy oh boy, she disciplined and educated them to obtain not only good marks but a balanced life as youngsters. I am sorry I find it difficult to see a strong foundation in particularly but not only black youngsters as suppose to around 10-15 years ago.

      Merven - 2011-12-31 10:17

      Leko, on you FB profile you say: Opportunity...often it comes in the form of misfortune,or temporary defeat.but some of us panic when misfortune hits us instead of taking advantage. Wasn't Apartheid a misfortune? So I quess you were one of the dumb ones that panicked instead of taking advantage? Shame man.

      Pixie86 - 2012-01-01 00:49

      even though i don't get what leko is saying, but mervin to go his fb page to prove a point is rather excessive dont you think?

      Jeandre - 2012-01-01 13:52

      Leko, that's ridiculous. Then we could also blame the British for all sorts of inequities in the concentration camps! Get real the past is the past, stop dragging it into the future.

      Merven - 2012-01-02 07:38

      @Pixie, not really, why else did News24 forced us to use our FB profiles?

  • Wendy - 2011-12-31 06:03

    That is what happens when you keep lowering the standard so more learners can pass. Also pay teachers a proper salary according to their qualifications. All this impacts the commercial life of SA. Just take a look at the rates department billing situation to know what happens when people aren't properly educated.

      Merven - 2011-12-31 10:14

      But if they don't lower the standards people like Leko will still be at school after 20 years.

      Michelle Vlok - 2011-12-31 10:49

      Well I'd rather have people like Leko stay in school for twenty years (if that's what it takes) than have him go on to practice medicine for twenty years with a 30 or 40% pass rate because he was pushed through the system.

      Jeandre - 2012-01-01 14:02

      Qualifications?? Gee are they really necessary for teaching?? Who could've guessed. I know plenty of post graduates with honors degrees, specialised in a field, for example economics or sciences, that are not allowed to teach because they do not have a teaching DIPLOMA???? Who would you have teach your child? Someone with no mathematics experience, that can do the classroom didactics or a maths specialist? We have plenty of highly qualified people that are prepared to teach for love of the subject, definitely not the salary that are simply not allowed to teach!

  • Frik - 2011-12-31 07:38

    You can only blame the government of the day for this no one else.

  • Marais Van den Berg - 2011-12-31 07:55

    As an educator I KNOW that the frequent changes to the curriculum is to blame, along with many teachers who are not qualified in the subject they teach. In the past 15 years there have been three changes in the curriculum and next year we are to implement NCAPS: a fourth change. I wish the Dept would stop ruining our kids' futures and literacy while it keeps on experimenting with educational models. Also, learners should know the extent of their capabilities and not take a subject that they cannot pass.

      Gungets - 2011-12-31 08:39

      And the endless, endless admin. Probably 25% of a teachers time is spent in silly admin that the department asks for that adds nothing to education. Seems it is just used for the grand explanation of failure.

      Prakash - 2011-12-31 11:12

      The changes in the curriculum is called OUTDATED BACKWARD EDUCATION implemented by the ANC government. OUTDATED BACKWARD EDUCATION failed in first world countries. Why fix and change something that has not failed.

      Jacqui - 2012-01-01 21:23

      I so agree with you!

  • The-Azanian - 2011-12-31 07:55

    other developin nations r being powered by education hungry citizens lyk turkey or india, i wonder whats powering ourz...god hav mercy on our future generation that is being faild by leaderz.

      Gungets - 2011-12-31 08:41

      And the way you use English is helping?

  • The-Azanian - 2011-12-31 07:55

    other developin nations r being powered by education hungry citizens lyk turkey or india, i wonder whats powering ourz...god hav mercy on our future generation that is being faild by leaderz.

      AyGeewils - 2011-12-31 08:17

      If you were truly hungry for education you would make some attempt to write English as English. I cannot imagine how you could pass anything submitting an exam in this dreadful shorthand.

      The-Azanian - 2011-12-31 08:39

      Duh...wats ur problm grndpa? 4 da record, i got 4 distinctions in maths, science, english n my home language in a skul that recieved a less thn 40pct pass rate. get that.

      Merven - 2011-12-31 10:19

      What must you get to get a distinction, 50%?

      Jeandre - 2012-01-01 14:10

      The Azanian, getting distinctions today in OBE is no prestige achievement. Us grandpa's are at least literate!! It's your mix-it language that promotes illitrecay and diminishes the language skills,embarassing the grandpa's

  • Haha - 2011-12-31 08:16

    Mathematics is the universal language! It should be compulsory for everyone. There should be a ruling that if you fail mathematics then you fail Matric.

  • mamoshianem1 - 2011-12-31 08:30

    DBE must research from other countries standard of education.This recent education system is a nation killer.Maths Literacy and Life Science are useless,more especially for those who want to study Engineering and Medicine.At tertiary institution,they don't want Maths Literacy and Life science ,if you want to study Engineering or Medicine.We don't ve enough doctors ,scientistand Engineers .If the standard of Education don't change we will dead nation.Aluta cotinue.

      riaz.moola - 2012-01-02 02:26

      sorry what's wrong with Life scienes? ever heard of a thing called HIV? Matric life sciences covers human and virus genomes - crucial to HIV research that is done at many south african tertiary institutions.

  • david.lipschitz - 2011-12-31 08:31

    When South Africa changed from Standards to Grades we started our race to the bottom. We used to have Standards that were set and people needed to achieve them to pass. Now we have Grades. What Standard is a Grade? Changing the curriculum constantly is also a problem and helps a process that moves people from freedom to slavery. An education implies freedom. No education implies slavery. Maths will never be obsolete. Has anyone noticed that if one buys a 500 gram or 500 ml container of something, the price will be R10, for example, but the 1000 gram (1kg) or 1 litre container will be R22. My wife finds this all the time and regularly comes home with two smaller containers than one bigger container. IMHO, the reason this is happening is because of the poor maths in South Africa. People expect that bigger containers will be cheaper. Supermarkets know this and also know that people can't add. QED. Here are my standard maths questions before I hire anyone. Not the only questions mind you, but important ones. Some matriculants with maths and accounting don't know the answers: 1) What is the VAT Rate? 2) What is the VAT Rate of 100? eg if the VAT rate is 5%, what is 5% of 100. Everyone should know how much tax they are paying to the government for everything they buy. And you shouldn't need a calculator to answer number 2.

      Kate - 2011-12-31 08:43

      Add up your total tax paid to the government on a monthly basis and you will be sadly surprised. Gross less paye, less vat = (lol)

      roger.pacey - 2011-12-31 14:07

      More than that, maths software only gives the illusion of competence. If you don't have the grounding to know whether your answer is right or wrong, you run the risk of spectacular failure.

      Bornlucky Manaswe - 2011-12-31 15:04

      Lol thanks for the heads up. I will check the prices next time I'm in a supermarket.

      Jeandre - 2012-01-01 14:21

      USED TO have standards! You are quite right. Today, you may not fail a learner twice in a phase, and if you do do the teacher needs to prove ( have black on white evidence) of all the extra effort and extra classes THE TEACHER provided. Then you may only have a 20% repeaters in a phase, so they have to pass even if they have not mastered the content. Are you still wondering why the matric pass rate is so poor??????

  • Pieter - 2011-12-31 09:34

    It is sad, we cannot expect the children to perform if the teachers don't have the skills to transfer knowledge.

  • Lesley - 2011-12-31 09:59

    And the education dept wants to reduce the teaching time of maths by 30 minutes and increase the teaching time of LO by 30 minutes in grade 1 and 2 thereby ensuring that the maths marks will get worse. How id LO going to help the kids further their education or get a job?

      Jeandre - 2012-01-01 14:24

      Probably by teaching them sex education, they might be able to keep count of their kids

  • tobydt - 2011-12-31 10:35

    Of course, because of 'discrimination'. Which is the new buzzword instead of blaming 'apartheid'.

  • JuditVictor - 2011-12-31 11:00

    @ Mike, What's with you? So how is YOUR Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, Afrikaans or whatever? This is a forum for anyone and if you understand what a person is saying, that's sufficient. Your comment has nothing to do with maths or science. You're being arrogant about English. The Germans and French really don't give a hoot! Nor do those clever Chinese and Japs. Even on their foodstuffs they misspell English but gee whiz THEY can do Maths!

  • Anton Mönnig - 2011-12-31 11:02

    What do you expect, maths = logic, which the vast majority in the country lacks. Irrational emotion won't solve a math problem.

  • Michelle Vlok - 2011-12-31 11:17

    I just think it's really sad. Some parents, especially the poor and previously disadvantaged, work very hard to get their children a good education because they see it as a way out of poverty. I think it must be demoralising for the parents and the children when they finally 'pass' matric only to find out that they can't get into university or drop out within the first year of their degree because they weren't strong enough academically. When you lower the standards and push up the marks you sell a false truth to the students that they have met the requirements and are strong enough academically to cope at university level. You're selling them a dream that the standard of education they're getting is adequate and will help them get decent careers and will be a way out of poverty. I understand that sometimes some students actually know their work. They just don't cope well with exam stress for example. So if their marks get pushed up by 1 or 2% it may not make a difference. But there's gotta be a better solution. Teachers are over-worked and under-paid. Some students have horrible attitudes and don't take their studies seriously. There are so many problems. What can we do as regular citizens to help improve this situation? I want to be part of a solution.

      Peter - 2012-01-01 00:52

      @Michelle Vlok...i like your attitude. It takes the will of a parent, a teacher and a student to succeed in the subject. I think the solution was just across the border but South Africa failed to see this in the nineties when the opportunity was there. I still remember back then in Zimbabwe the maths competition was fierce across all schools. We used to compete in maths Olympiad every term and the school with exceptional talent was worshiped...i mean really WORSHIPED. The completion was so fierce such that one kid ended up committing suicide when he came second in a maths challenge in 1997. Kids should be groomed at a very young age. I am not that bright myself i had to work hard in the subject because my brothers were doing well and i had to fight back. I still remember taking Maths O'level at 14 simple because my brother was sitting for the exam and i got a {B}. At 16, i set for my A’ level Maths and Further Maths getting straight A's and this was a Cambridge exam.... and this was just had work. Most of my friends from the same school did the same and quickly got onto the actuarial exams ladder from the Faculty {Oxford}, at a very tender age. This trend still continues till this day. Zimbabwe has the highest number of actuarial students passing the Faculty exam than any other African country even in these bad times. And we have students who became fellows before turning 21 { average student age is 29} So Zim might be s**t but surely we can teach you one or two things.

  • Alva - 2011-12-31 11:56

    Yet another epic fail by the dept. of Education. Now this really stupid department has banned bonuses paid by school governing bodies to top performing teachers and principles. Soon they won't have any decent teachers left! What a fiasco!

      roger.pacey - 2011-12-31 16:40

      The rub is that if the best teachers go to private schools, government policy will have perpetuated, even increased, inequality between private and state schools. I would have thought that the way to reduce inequality would be to give good teachers incentives to go to poor state schools, not drive them out of the public sector altogether. Mandela's Min of Ed showed that good teachers will leave in numbers if you give them no incentive to carry on.

  • pal.mabelane - 2011-12-31 11:57

    No surprises there.

  • Pixie86 - 2011-12-31 15:55

    the problem is our government is babysitting these leaners! Teachers with 25 years experience are disadvantaged when the curriculum is suddenly changed and they have to study it too! My grandpa had that old education- the one before bantu education and the guy knew better english having stopped school in grade 8 than some of these grade 12 leaners! These kids can't even read or write because the government says no kid must flunk! There goes the country

  • leko.dada1 - 2011-12-31 17:22

    @Merven- AM I REALY DUMB ?funny,coz u seem clearly getting my view point!even stealing my fb qoute,that says alot abt you[wat threatens you if dumbs like me are every where?,PETY-MINDED] @PeterAlan,'ABILITY TO READ & WRITE COHERENTLY' is for specific profession like media,public relation...its not a tool to disadvantage others [BE ENLIGHTENED] @Janine, ellipsis n periods must bother you only if you will get fat-cheaque! I AGREE ELLIPSIS AND PERIOD

  • Mboneni - 2012-01-01 01:12

    They are failing maths because all the role models are illiterate

      leko.dada1 - 2012-01-01 15:45

      @Mboneni,is this term 'ILLITERATE' still apply? Are Chinese,Germans and french illiterate?coz they dnt give a damn abt english language but excel in technology. GUYS ITS TYM TO ACCEPT...EDUCATION HAS A TREND LIKE CULTURE,GET INFLUENCED BY TIME SO AS LANGUAGE. Its for academics to keep n maintain their 'CULTURE-ATTRACTING',as for now they are still goood as dead! We cant fault the department of education[principals,teachers and learners]if students fail doesnt mean its a crisis,it shows lack of intrests in that subject.NOT TO BE BRAIN-DRAINED! ENFORCING STUDENTS TO ATTAIN CERTIFICATE ,IS THE REASON ,THERES SO MANY POST-GRADUATES STILL LOOKING FOR JOBS [AND NOBODY CAN SAY ,THEY ARE NOT EDUCATED] MBONENI ,WHO TO BLAME HERE?ROLE MODELS?I DNT THINK SO. I BLAME APARTHEID'S MEANING OF EDUCATION...IT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED BY THE ACADEMICS.

      Merven - 2012-01-02 07:47

      Leko dude, you must really go back to school. It is really troublesome reading your posts. Any way, education doesn't get influenced by time, it gets influenced by the ANC. "We cant fault the department of education[principals,teachers and learners]if students fail doesnt mean its a crisis," REALLY?? Every year 600 000 kids write exams, if 30% of them fail it means that there are roughly 200 000 individuals that will: 1. Start doing crime because they can not get work 2. Go back to school, wasting the taxpayers' money 3. Get a sh*tty job and just surviving, which means a lot of pressure on the state sponsored health care systems etc. 4. Become ANCYL members, well, we all know what that entrails. So yes, it is a crisis.

  • Neil - 2012-01-01 04:28

    mathematics is one of our corner stones... in all studies maths is applicable. But fear of numbers has being put forth to young ones; making them weak thinkers, who can't solve simple problems....... this must change and it starts with the person on the mirror....

  • Marita Serfontein Green - 2012-01-01 14:39

    Actually, the fault for poor maths should be laid at uninterested, uninvolved parents, who relies on institutions to dictate what/how their children learn. It is always possible to refuse bad education.

  • Nompumelelo Scongie Cibi - 2012-01-01 20:33

    Since you are complaining so much about our results. I kindly sugest that u grab your stationary and sit behind the desk to write just one paper and we'll see how great ul do! Mxm

      Merven - 2012-01-02 07:50

      Cool, place a link to a paper and we all will have fun. PS: suggest

  • hendricks.ali - 2012-01-03 23:40

    So the chairperson made a one sentence statement about the Maths results and that deserves to be the headline? This article isn't even about the Maths results, it's a general summary of Umalusi's findings in the 2011 results. The headline stressed me and many other Matriculants out, as many of our futures rely on that single Maths mark, actually reading the article just shows the bad standard of SAPA reporters.

  • Witchbladesa - 2012-01-04 08:07

    Why are we still moderating subject mark. If you have failed a subject you can't moderate the marks up. Just like if you got high marks why lower it to show the standard is lower.

  • Walter - 2012-01-04 21:31

    maths required every step of way in life , SQL , Excel , socially , whatever you decide maths applies ...if you fail maths then poor decision in our country as you witness in current state ..The world need mathematician brother ...wake up dont be stereotype

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