The DA has released South Africa’s latest mathematics education figures, and they paint a bleak picture about the performance of the country’s education system.
The DA revealed that the number of learners taking mathematics as a subject at high school is decreasing yearly.
Between 2012 and the most recent statistic received, the number of students taking mathematics in Matric has decreased by nearly 4 percentage points.
Another concern was that only 12% of 2014’s successful matriculants achieved more than 50% for mathematics.
“This should be the cause for serious concern. Mathematics as a subject is critical for ensuring that our children receive the skills they will need to access tertiary education,” said the DA.
“Of the 100 identified scarce skills in South Africa, 93 require a decent pass in matric maths.”
Here are some of the findings from the DA about the state of mathematics education in SA:
- The percentage of learners enrolled to write the Grade 12 mathematics exam is declining, from 44.3% in 2012, to 43% in 2013, 42.3% in 2014, and now to 40.8% in 2015.
- The Department of Basic Education has no idea how many learners are enrolled to study mathematics in Grade 10 in 2015.
- The Department of Basic Education has no idea how many teachers are teaching mathematics at FET level.
- The Department of Basic Education has no idea how many of the teachers currently teaching mathematics are qualified to do so.
- The Department of Basic Education has no idea how many mathematics teachers are actually required by the education sector.
The DA said that while the Department of Basic Education has taken steps to address the problems, these steps are a waste of time unless their effectiveness is measured.
“The DA will submit further parliamentary questions to find out why the Minister is not gathering this important data.”