Following the release of matriculation results, the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) has raised concern over South Africa’s dwindling standard of Education, especially on important subjects like Maths and sciences.
The overall and provincial pass marks are expected to be released on Wednesday evening even as Umalusi‚ revealed that the 2016 maths and maths literacy results are poor.
Naptosa predicted that the overall percentage of matriculants who passed will be higher than last months’. The organisation’s executive director Basil Manuel, further explained that the increase will be up from 70.7% in 2015.
But for the low pupils performance in important subjects as Maths and sciences, Manuel calls for an immediate investigation of its cause.
“The decline is worrisome,” he said, “Previously about 70% of those who wrote the maths literacy exam had passed‚ but that had dropped to 35%.”
Similarly, Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis, who attacked Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga for saying that her department was “pleased with the consistent improvements in the pupils results”, blames the country’s poor educational system for the fall.
“Too many teachers are emerging from our universities without the necessary practical skills to deliver the curriculum effectively,” Davis said as he calls for an improved educational system that would focus on teacher training and development particularly among schools that perform badly.
“It is no coincidence that the three lowest performing provinces – North West, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape – are three of the provinces found by the ministerial ‘jobs for cash’ report to have been captured by the South African Democratic Teachers Union,” Davis said.
According to Education professor Elizabeth Walton‚ of the University of the Witwatersrand‚ problems in maths and sciences emerge as early as Grade 4 in the poorer schools.
“We need interventions in the foundation and intermediate phases of school [primary school]. We can’t pick up problems in Grade 9‚ start interventions then and expect to see results.”
Research from Stellenbosch University proves that some of the factors that contribute to children not being able to learn efficiently include the lack of reading in the early years of childhood development and lack of basic resources.
According to the research, one in five early childhood development centres battles with inadequate drinking-water supply, while one in four has an inadequate electricity supply and a quarter don’t have adequate toilet facilities.