Lowering the maths pass rate to 20% in South Africa is nothing new. According to an education system insider, there’s been a lot of jiggery-pokery going on with pass rates for many years.
Sara Muller, a University of Cape Town academic with experience as a mathematics Head of Department, reveals how educators have been tweaking rates to help students rise through the grades.
However, she notes that the outcry over the low maths pass rate is overdone. We need to remember, she says, that mathematics isn’t the big deal we all think it is. There are many productive adults in the workforce who don’t have a high pass mark for Grade 10 maths, she observes. Mathematics has been elevated globally as a priority subject, which is perhaps not appropriate for South Africa.