Ninety-six percent of grade nines in South Africa achieved 50% or less in a national mathematics benchmarking test, the City Press newspaper reported.
In 2 411 schools, all grade nines scored between 0% and 30% for mathematics in the annual national assessment written by pupils in grades one to six, and grade nine last year.
A total of 2 805 schools countrywide were tested.
The assessment results revealed that two-thirds of grade six pupils and just over 40% of grade threes got 50% or less for mathematics.
Grade six pupils in 429 schools across the country scored between 0% and 30% for mathematics, while in 59 schools the same was true of grade three children.
Limpopo fared the worst in the assessment, followed by rural parts of Mpumulanga, the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape.
The annual national assessments for 2014 were written last month. The results were expected to be released in December. — Sapa