Maths standard drops despite improvement in the education system

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said there has been an improvement in the education system over the past two years. She was speaking at Muzomuhle Primary School in Diepsloot where she released the Annual National Assessment (ANA) results for 2014 on Thursday.

“The grand idea of ANA is to gauge the extent to which the basic education system is impacting on the critical areas of numeracy and literacy,” Motshekga said. She said interventions targeted at the foundation phase by the department have helped to achieve goals that were set for 2014. There has been an increase in the percentage of pupils achieving acceptable achievement levels for mathematics and home language.

Motshekga also said Grades 1 to 3 recorded an overall achievement of above 55% in maths, while Grades 4 to 9 under-performed with below 50% average. This is because, among others, a lot of pupils did not clearly understand mathematical terminology.

“With each grade, the curriculum requirement involves a progressive understanding of mathematical terminology and applications as the required content shifts from arithmetic to algebra and basic shapes to spatial relationships. This learning gap continues to extend into the senior phase where learners are not able to solve problems involving algebraic manipulation and Euclidean geometry and as a result do not score well in the ANA tests,” she explained.

Motshekga said that the department would investigate what is contributing to the low performance in senior phase maths at schools.

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