27 March 2017
A recent portfolio committee meeting with the Northern Cape Department of Education revealed that the Northern Cape has the lowest participation rate in Mathematics in the country. Compared to other provinces, far fewer of our learners decide to study Mathematics from grade 10 onwards.
Mathematics is an essential requirement for many fields of study and employment; without the right skills, we risk losing a generation of our learners to unemployment.
Perception is part of the problem. When Mathematics is seen as a difficult subject and when learners believe you must be Einstein to excel at it, they are not encouraged to continue studying. This perception develops early in life and we need to do all we can to ensure that learners are given strong foundational skills for Mathematics. This includes literacy, so that learners can understand and solve mathematical equations.
We need to support the many excellent educators who help their students perform, but we also need to implement strategies to hold lazy, incompetent educators to account. I recently visited a school which had five learners for Mathematics in grade 12 – all five failed in their final examinations. This trend cannot be allowed to continue.
The Democratic Alliance has shown what can be done in the Western Cape, which boasts a 77% pass rate in Mathematics. There is no reason why the Northern Cape cannot achieve similar accomplishments.
DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education in the Northern Cape
084 919 4157
071 251 5558