South Africa’s mathematics teachers – at most grades – are near to the bottom of world standards. Performance management is absolutely essential, and this political nettle must be grasped and private players need to raise this vital issue much more strongly and frequently.
CDE has developed four points that must be borne in mind in addressing South Africa’s numeracy and mathematics schooling challenge.
1. Improving mathematics teaching and learning in public schools will not happen fast, but must begin in earnest as a matter of urgency;
2. Poor mathematics and numeracy in public schools is likely to accelerate private schooling growth and enrolment in private extra mathematics lessons;
3. If South Africa is to be realistic about having a knowledge economy and creating more and better jobs, it will require a sustained focus on teacher and teacher-training enhancement, particularly in mathematics teaching, which – given its scale and current attitudes – will likely take a decade or more to achieve significant results;
4. In the interim, it is likely that we will have growing numbers of innumerate young people, and a majority of young South Africans could be unqualified for many types of white collar work (assuming less than 30 per cent in mathematics in Grade 9 roughly translates into such a status).
Source: written by Jeff McCarthy and Rebecca Oliphant, https://www.cde.org.za
Title: Mathematics outcomes in South African schools: What are the facts? What should be done?