SA science minister rejects woeful science ranking

Science and maths education is progressively improving in South Africa, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said on Wednesday.

“To say we are at the bottom of a whole host of countries, based on perception, is a bit of a difficult one for me,” she told reporters in Pretoria.

“The WEF report was based on perceptions, it wasn’t a test of our learners.”

Pandor was reacting to a World Economic Forum report about the state of the country’s maths and science education.

“Thank goodness we have some good journalists in South Africa who spotted that the report was based on perception,” she said.

In terms of the Timms survey (Trends in International Maths and Science Study), South Africa had seen some improvement.

The country continued to invest in improving its performance in maths and science, Pandor said.

“I was a bit disappointed that the WEF almost presented this [report] as if South African children had been tested in maths.”

According to the WEF report, the quality of South Africa’s maths and science education placed it last out of 148 countries.

It was behind the likes of Haiti, Lesotho, Chad, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Kenya.

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SA science minister rejects woeful science ranking