‘Mathematics isn’t the be-all and end-all of education system’: Motshekga

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‘Mathematics isn’t the be-all and end-all of education system’: Motshekga

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\n Nomahlubi Jordaan | 2017-01-23 12:28:49.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n

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\n \n \n \n Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. File photo \n \n \n \n
Image by: Supplied\n \n \n \n

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\n A “lot” more needs to be done to address low participation rates and poor learner outcomes in mathematics‚ physical science and languages.\n

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That’s according to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga‚ who was giving the keynote address at the Basic Education Sector Lekgotla in Centurion on Monday.

“We must redouble our efforts to ensure that our learners have age- and grade-appropriate reading and numeracy skills. The Read to Lead Campaign must be everyone’s campaign‚” Motshekga said.

Commenting on her department’s decision to promote Grade 7 and 9 who get 20 % in maths‚ Motshekga said: “I can assure South Africans that nobody of sane mind can argue against the importance of mathematics education‚ or mathematics and science-based careers.

“The need for mathematics and science-based education is as old as humankind‚ and will be useful for as long as evolution continues unabated. That said‚ we must not fall into the trap of making mathematics the be-all and end-all of our education system.

“In all honesty‚ we came to the policy decision to let thousands of learners progress to the next grade without having passed mathematics because the effects of grade repetition are dire.

She said her department opted to work with scientific research that shows that pupils who fail lose interest‚ drop out‚ become problematic‚ and “act out”.

“We are alive to the fact that grade repetition enormously increases inefficiencies in the system as a whole. In short‚ there is no 20% promotional requirements anywhere in our system.”

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2015 and the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality show that the performance of South African learners is improving‚ which is symptomatic of a system in an upward trajectory.

– TMG Digital

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