The department of basic educations proposal to scrap maths as a compulsory promotional requirement in grade 6, 7 and 8 has opened up widespread discussion about it's effect and whether or not it's a feasible option.
Grahamstown Area Distress Relief Association Education manager, Dr Ashley Westaway tells CapeTalk host, Africa Melane, that grades seven to nine are commonly referred to as the general education and training band.
The expectation is that one enters the final three years of schooling with a solid, all round education.— Dr Ashley Westaway, Grahamstown Area Distress Relief Association Education manager
The idea to drop mathematics as a compulsory requirement is misleading because mathematics and mathematical competence in general, cannot be placed on the same scale as economic sciences for example.— Dr Ashley Westaway, Grahamstown Area Distress Relief Association Education manager
Westaway stresses that South Africa needs to produce numerate and literate pupils. He says the need for basic numeracy should never be compromised for any reason. If one puts less emphasis on the importance of mathematics in the pre-specialisation phase, they then weaken the significance of numeracy competence.
Westaway says the policy proposal signals the unwillingness to deal with the problem of numeracy and mathematics literacy teaching in South Africa.
All South Africans have the potential of passing mathematics adds Westaway.
Listen to more of his analysis in the clip below: