The Democratic Alliance (DA) says that as many as one-in-four South African schools do not offer mathematics in grades 10, 11 or 12.
A reply to a parliamentary question detailing the current state of mathematics study in South African schools, revealed that as many as 1,443 public ordinary schools with students in grades 10-12 did not offer mathematics.
The education department said that the reasons were ‘few but varied’ but included the non availability of qualified, competent teachers.
It also pointed to ‘very small learner enrollments’ and conformance with Post Provisioning Norms.
“I have today written to the Education Minister to request that she explains to Parliament why one-in-four schools are allowed to deny learners a full matric maths education on her watch, and how this will be urgently rectified,” said DA shadow minister of Basic Education, Mathematics, Annette Lovemore.
“Being denied maths education is a denial of achieving one’s true potential in life, and severely limits our young people from seizing opportunities.”
The education department also highlighted the percentages of schools not offering mathematics at grade 10-12 level for each province:
|Province||Proportion of public ordinary schools offering Mathematics in Grades 10 to 12|
The education department said that “a plan has been developed to introduce FET Phase Mathematics in the identified schools that were not offering mathematics”.
“Our challenge to the Minister is to provide reasons that justify denying our young people the meaningful education they deserve, without hiding behind systemic shortcomings,” Lovemore said.
In May, South Africa’s maths and science education was again revealed to be among the worst in the world – second last – according to the largest ever global school rankings system.
The report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), put the country behind only Ghana.