1 minute read
5 Jun 2014
10:00 am

Not clever to duck this issue


Often the first step towards solving a problem is to acknowledge that it needs attention.

South Africa undoubtedly has serious problems with the levels of maths and science competency achieved in our schools.

Yet the response of the ministry of basic education to the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) report fails to confront the issue. The WEF index rates South Africa’s mathematics and science education as the worst in the world.

In arriving at this conclusion, the WEF used information gleaned from interviews with business executives. In the view of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, the index “reflects nothing more than their personal perceptions”.

It would be foolish to dismiss the perceptions of business executives. They make decisions about whom to hire and they know much about the quality of applicants. Furthermore, the low standards of maths and science in SA have repeatedly been shown in tests.

In fact, last year a team set up by Motshekga produced a report highlighting the weaknesses of maths, science and technology education. Instead of obfuscating she should, for a start, begin implementing the recommendations of that report. Our kids are being left behind in a competitive world.