South Africa’s education fail: Incoming teachers score 54% for primary maths

South Africa’s education fail: Incoming teachers score 54% for primary maths

While many pupils and teachers adjust to a new way of learning and teaching because of COVID-19, a worrisome trend has been made public. An alarming report reveals that B.Ed students assessed at three universities scored a weak 54% for maths tests meant for primary school pupils.
The findings — which was released on 1 February — were made by the 2030 Reading Panel, a civil society initiative headed by former deputy president Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and
Although the main focus of the panel is getting all South African children reading by the time they turn 10, primary school teachers are required to be able to teach both languages and mathematics.  .
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SA teaching crisis: New teachers’ primary school maths struggles

The 2030 Reading Panel – which is made up of 18 eminent South Africans and includes members from academia, NGOs, business, and faith communities – found that entry-level teachers are failing dismally at primary school maths tests.
The 2030 panel has been forced to call for an audit of university programmes training primary school teachers after assessments of primary school mathematics teachers showed that first-year B.Ed students across three universities scored 52% on a primary school maths test and final-year B.Ed students scored 54%.

B.Ed students: Lowest average entry requirements

Business Tech reports that the panel is concerned about the young teachers’ extremely low levels of content knowledge and the detrimental effect it will have on the children they teach.

“The trends in mathematics are indicative of wider problems in terms of who is recruited into teaching – incoming B.Ed students have the lowest average entry requirements and matric points of all degrees – and what is accomplished during four years of full-time training,” the panel said.

“The latest research shows that these newly graduated teachers are performing incredibly weakly on tests their students should be able to master.”

Other educational red flags in SA

The panel also found that teachers without adequate training and knowledge are not the country’s only problem. The following are other findings made around the education problem in SA:

  • South African 10-year-olds in 2021 know less than 9-year-olds before the pandemic.
  • Almost half of SA teachers will retire in the next 10 years.
  • Before the pandemic, South Africa’s education system was improving slowly but steadily. And now it has slowed again.
  • On South Africa’s current trajectory it will take 80 years before all 10-year-olds can read for meaning.

TDPel Media

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