The quality of mathematics and science education in South Africa is the worst in the world, according to the 2014 World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report.
In addition, the overall perceived quality of South Africa’s education system has also plummeted from 140th to 146th of 148 countries surveyed.
“It is also of great concern that Internet access in our schools has slipped down by five slots to 116th out of 148 countries,” says DA basic education spokesman Annette Lovemore in a statement.
“Last year, the ministerial task team established to investigate the progress of teaching programmes in maths, science and technology across South Africa and released a damning report that exposed gaping holes at every level of our education system,” she says.
“The national strategy is out of date, there is a shortage of qualified teachers, curriculum changes over the past decade have negatively affected teaching, universities are not training teachers adequately and district offices are largely not capable of providing adequate support to teachers,” Lovemore says.
The WEF ranking does not reflect the ability of South Africa’s learners, but an education system that needs urgent intervention, she adds. “Quality education is a crucial necessity for creating more globally competitive young adults, much needed jobs and entrepreneurs.”
According to the World Economic Forum report, “weaknesses in the innovation system, notably in terms of skills development (97th), also affect the country’s economic potential (49th) despite its fairly robust political and regulatory environment.”
In some other areas, though, South Africa is performing relatively well. In terms of the quality of its management schools, the country ranks 23rd out of 148 countries. The tertiary enrolment rate, however, with the country placed 105th out of 147 countries. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media