According to a study released by Dr Vijay Reddy, principal investigator of Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), South Africa’s Grade 5 and 9 pupils continue to lag behind in mathematics and science when compared to their international counterparts.
The study shows that South Africa ranks in the five lowest-performing countries which are: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, South Africa, and Kuwait.
In 2015, 36 countries around the world participated in the study and in South Africa over 300 schools , 12 000 leaners and 300 teachers in Maths and Science participated at Grade 9 level, according to Dr Reddy.
At the Grade 5 level, 300 schools participated, 11 500 learners and 300 teachers in Maths and Science also took part. Reddy says 11 000 parents of the Grade 5 learners also participated in the study by completing the questionnaire provided.
That provided us with further insight about education pre-six year olds.— Dr Vijay Reddy, Principal investigator of Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
The study compares South Africa to the top five countries that are the top performers in Maths and Science which are in East Asia: Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Chinese Taipei and Japan as well as other European countries.
Dr Reddy says since South Africa started participating in the study in the early 90's and it's been performing very poorly.
However, from 2003 the country started improving in Maths studies, and to date South Africa has improved in Maths studies by at least 87 points, says Reddy.
I have indicated that we have improved from a very low level to a low level and we still have a way to go.— Dr Vijay Reddy, Principal investigator of Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
Listen below to hear more about the findings of this study;