Gauteng schools’ maths performance declining

Panyaza Lesufi
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The mathematics performance of Gauteng schools has been on the decline over the past four years. This was revealed at the release of the performance results of all the primary schools at the inaugural primary school summit in Randburg, north of Johannesburg, on Saturday.

The performance results are aimed at helping the department to identify problems and come up with interventions that will strengthen and improve learning outcomes.

Premier David Makhura, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and his Head of Department (HOD) Edward Mosuwe addressed hundreds of school teachers, principals and members of school governing bodies, who attended the summit.

“Do you see that it even gets worse when we get to Grade 9, we even dropped at Grade 9 that it gets to 39 and 38% for 2019/18 respectively. We have shown you that over a 4-year period, mathematics performance in the province has been on the decline, it started at 51%, it went to 40, it went to 38, it went to 39. It can’t go any lower that this we must reverse the situation,” said Mosuwe.

The video below focuses on how teachers and parents can support learners with school work:

Lesufi says the department wants to build a skills-based education system, hence the emphasis on projects such as the schools of specialisaion. He, however, says there are four major areas of concern that first need to be addressed.

“The first one is the high level of high repetition rate. In the report, you’ll see almost 21 000 learners are repeating Grade 1, and that creates a huge backlog in terms of the infrastructure, the number of teachers needed, the text books that are needed and other things. The second worrying point is that the performance of our learners starts very well at Grade 1 and in primary, when they go to high school, it drops badly. Thirdly, is that this thing that our learners don’t prefer maths is a serious problem. And the last one is the literacy rate,” says Lesufi.

The Gauteng Education MEC says work has begun to address those weaknesses in the system.

Makhura  meanwhile says fixing the country’s education system has to start with the foundation phase.

“The knowledge, the skills and the values which we want to cultivate among our children must start in the early years. That’s why because the world is changing, we want the digital skills to be cultivated among our primary schools. We want this technology we’ve been installing in the high schools to be there in every primary school. We want the primary school teachers to be retrained on how to deploy technology to improve educational outcomes, that’s our vision,” says Lesufi.

Makhura says if children are well taught while still young, and with  the introduction of technology-related subjects, this will benefit the country in the long run.

The video below looks at ways to improve mathematics results: