Limpopo  Maths Education in crisis – MEC must admit and clean up

Jacques Smalle (MPL)

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

The latest Annual National Assessment (ANA’s) results released by the Department of Basic Education has once again affirmed that Maths education in Limpopo is in crisis.

The DA is saddened yet unsurprised by the fact that Grade 9 learners from Limpopo schools scored the lowest in Mathematics in the universal ANA’s written by all nine Provinces.

More than a million learners sat for the assessments. Meaning a total number of 4028 classes participated.

Of these, 128 were independent schools which have 24 000 learners.

97.2%  of our Grade 9 learners don’t have the essential Maths aptitude required and only 0.1% are outstanding in the subject.

This report revealed that the state of Maths education nationally is just as dismal. Only 3% of learners scored above 50%.

The DA has long held the view that Maths education needs to be prioritized from a foundational level.

In Limpopo, the verified statistics show that Maths pass dropped significantly from 62.8% in Grade 1 to 32.8% in Grade 6.

Our province has been the poorest performer in all provinces for the past three years. In 2012- 8.5%, 2013- 9.0  and 2014-6.5%.

We are concerned that our provincial department has failed to ensure that the marking  process is efficient since it only managed to mark 86.3% of the scripts making us the second lowest as compared to the rest of the country while the DA led Western Cape marked   99% of the assessment scripts.

We urge the MEC to admit that the state of Maths in the province is in shambles.

The ANA report is not for finger-pointing or blaming but is essential and it provides the closest thing to the truth with respect to the state of education in South Africa.

The solution to the problem starts with admitting a crisis, and then addressing every single aspect that contributes to the crisis. These aspects will include the teacher, the school, the district and the province, and must include, too, the national department of Basic Education.

This year’s group of grade nine learners will matriculate in 2017. There is still enough time for the MEC and provincial department to proactively turn this dire situation around.