Disturbing maths results among SA matriculants

Delving deeper into the South African matric results of 2014 depicts an education system in crisis, according to the DA.

In January, the department of education announced that 75.8% of matriculants passed their 2014 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams.

However, taking into account the number of drop-outs over the past 12 years, the real number of  learners who managed to get a senior certificate sits quite a bit lower – at approximately 41.7%.

A reply to a DA parliamentary question revealed that more than half of the 75.8% of learners who passed were effectively grade-appropriately innumerate and fewer learners are taking the subjects that are required to address this country’s critical skills shortage.

The DA noted that just under 10,500 learners failed Mathematics and 49,556 failed Mathematical Literacy.

“This means that 28% of all learners writing matric last year failed any form of numeracy assessment. What is more startling is that 70% of all learners failed to achieve above 50% for any form of numeracy,” said Annette Lovemore, DA shadow minister of basic education.

In the case of Mathematics, 4,430 of the learners enrolled to write, did not do so. For Mathematical Literacy, the situation was worse, with 6,261 enrolled learners not writing, the DA said.

“The obvious assumption is that these children were likely to fail, and were therefore precluded from writing so that they would not negatively influence their school’s pass rate.”

The political party highlighted a trend showing fewer learners are taking the subjects that are required to address the shortage of critical skills in SA:

Subject 2013 2014 Decrease
Accounting 145 427 124 987 -19 440
Business Studies 218 914 207 659 -11 255
Computer Applications Technology 44 848 40 910 -3 938
Economics 150 114 137 478 -12 636
Life Sciences 301 718 284 298 -17 420
Mathematics 241 509 225 458 -16 051
Physical Sciences 184 383 167 997 -16 386

The following subjects exhibit the most troubling results:

Subject Less than 50%
Accounting 77%
Agricultural Studies 74%
Business Studies 48%
Computer Applications Technology 56%
Economics 81%
Geography 71%
Life Sciences 70%
Mathematics Literacy 66%
Mathematics 78%
Physical Sciences 78%

More on education in SA

SA’s ‘real’ matric pass rate: 42%

Changes for SA matric pass mark?

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Disturbing maths results among SA matriculants