WEF ranks SA’s math and science education 2nd worst in the world

The recently released World Economic Forum (WEF)
Global Information Technology Report 2013 ranks
South Africa’s Maths and Science education second
last in the world, only ahead of Yemen. It further
ranks the quality of our education system 140 of 144
countries and our Internet Access in Schools, 111 of
143 countries (see here).
We welcome the Minister’s recently established
special task team investigating the progress of
teaching programmes in maths, science and
technology across South Africa. 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 the Minister must attach
urgency to this initiative and announce this team and
their terms of reference without delay – I will be
asking further Parliamentary questions to ascertain
it’s full intention and progress.
Further we call on the Minister and this task team to:
Prioritise debating different models and interventions
to address the quality of maths and science in SA;
Publicly call for representations by education experts
and NGOs from inside and outside SA with recorded
success on how maths and science education can be
improved;
Call for input from schools with a high success rate in
maths and science teaching on their best practice;
and
Implement recommendations for successful
alternative models for teaching these critical
subjects.
With targeted interventions in maths and science and
learning from successful projects like our Centre of
Science and Technology, we can turn the situation
around, as we have in the DA-run Western Cape.
The Western Cape has had great success with targeted
interventions to address the quality of maths and
science education. The province’s 2012 matric
mathematics pass rate is 73.5% against a national
average of 54%, with a similar trend in its matric
physical science pass rate; which was 70.9%
compared to a national average of 61.3%.
Further interventions utilised by the WCED include
intensive management support from district offices,
subject-specific support for schools with historically
low pass rates, and the delivery of additional
textbooks in critical subject areas such as maths and
science.
The WEF ranking does not reflect the ability of our
learners, but an education system that needs urgent
intervention. Ultimately, the aim of education must
be to produce globally competitive citizens. It is
imperative that both the curriculum and the
methodologies utilised in its delivery are aligned to
the desired outcomes.
We must do all we can to find models and
interventions that work to address the quality of
maths and science education in South Africa. This will
equip our children with the necessary skills and
knowledge to compete in a modern and ICT-driven
economy and lift themselves up in life.
Statement issued by Annette Lovemore MP, DA
Shadow Minister of Basic Education, April 16 2013

Source: www.politicsweb.co.za/mailstreams/clickthrough?u=francoisvandeventer&d=gmail.com&miid=3620&mid=3429&l=21&a=

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