Key Points:

  • Maths and science education in South Africa is a national crisis. Improving maths and science is the country’s top educational priority.
  • In 2003, only 23% of all higher-grade maths graduates were African. Poor maths and science education is probably the single biggest obstacle to African advancement in South Africa today.
  • While a number of public and private initiatives to improve maths and science education have been launched in South Africa, they have had no discernible effect on the education system as a whole.
  • South Africa is devoting significant resources to large numbers of learners who have little chance of passing Senior Certificate maths and science. At the same time, large numbers of learners with the potential to succeed in maths and science are not getting the opportunities to study these subjects.
  • Our education system is too large and too diverse for a ‘one-size-fits-all’ reform strategy – we have to devise targeted, focused and customised interventions.