Key Points:

  • Many talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds capable of obtaining university entrance in mathematics do not do so either because their schools do not teach mathematics, or do so poorly.
  • CDE commissioned research on ten programmes aimed at realising the potential of talented learners from poor households in order to establish what makes such programmes successful and whether any of them could be taken to scale.
  • The programmes were of two types: enrichment programmes and placement programmes. Enrichment programmes provide additional classes to talented learners outside of school hours, while placement programmes take talented children from disadvantaged backgrounds out of their schools, and sometimes out of their homes and communities, too.
  • Aptitude tests generally produce very reliable results in measuring inborn potential of learners and can provide standardised, consistent and valid predictions of a learner’s future success in a specific subject area.
  • There is little doubt that private sector and NGO education initiatives have led to some measurable successes, and that aptitude tests have played an important role in these interventions. Yet few people seem to be aware of the spread of private sector initiatives of this nature.