Consider that South Africa has a low pass rate in maths and the crisis of low performance continues year after year.
In 2021, only thirty-five percent of all Grade 12’s took the final Maths exam. Twenty percent of them passed. However, only five percent passed with sixty percent or above. Five percent!
This means that five out of every 100 Matric students got a result good enough to study for a bachelor’s degree at University.
In 2022 it did not fare much better. “Pure maths’ had the lowest percentage of ‘achieved’ scores when compared to all of the other subjects, with only fifty-five percent of learners scoring thirty percent plus; thirty-six percent scoring 40 percent plus and only twenty-two percent passing with 50 percent or more and around five percent above sixty percent. This is according to the NSC Exam Report.
Thirty percent is a pass in Maths. That means a learner only has to FAIL at 70% maximum to get through. Imagine a neurologist passing his exams with such high failure. Would you visit him?
By accepting such a high level of failure – or misunderstanding of the basics of mathematics – we accept mediocrity in its extreme.
By doing so we allow our youth to enter the economy believing they have a good chance or that they can deal with what is required. Then they find out they cannot.
The result is low-quality work, low motivation, high unemployment, and rising costs.
Each learner put through the education system is a cost to the taxpayer. If they come out the top-end capable, it’s a good investment because we equip them to move into the economy. If they are not a good product, we add a further burden onto the economy with under-educated and under-skilled youth. Not their fault and most are really capable of doing well – given the training and the chance. But we don’t give them a good standard of education and don’t train them to confront the working world.
And so we pay the penalty.
Better to confront and look and what is needed at the school level. Find simple and real solutions and bring these to reality.
We can do it. It is what will turn our economy around save tens of thousands of youth from struggle and save us as a nation.