SA Performs Poorly in Mathematics And Science

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Poor performance in maths and science continues to be worrying in South Africa. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) shows that poor performance in these fields affects many school children and the future of the country.


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Poor performance in maths and science continues to be worrying in South Africa. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) shows that poor performance in these fields affects many school children and the future of the country.
The South African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators Report was recently launched, giving insight into the situation. 
According to the report made by the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI), South Africa's performance in various areas linked to science, technology and innovation has a significant impact on the economy. 
Dr Shadrack Moephuli who is the NACI’s Chairperson, says the scores of South Africa dropped for Grade 5 and grade 9 respectively in the year 2019.
“For example, according to the 2019 TIMSS, the country's average scores are below the minimum benchmark level of 400 for both mathematics and science in Grade 5, that is 374 and 324, respectively, and Grade 9, 389 and 370, respectively...that's not something to celebrate,” said Dr Moephuli.
The pass rate in science technology, engineering, and mathematics-related subjects except for mathematical literacy has seen an increase in the pass rate. This can be accredited to the lowered passing percentage to 30%. There was a slight increase in learners passing with 30%, from 80.6% in 2019 to 88% in 2020.
The Deputy minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Buti Manamela said South Africa also has to urgently address inequality and2 unemployment.
“In the South African context, this means that the challenges of inequality, unemployment, poverty, and ecological degradation require even more urgent attention. There is global consensus that progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals has been affected”, Said Manamela.

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