Low Pass Rates in Math and Science Now a Trend in South African Schools

Low Pass Rates in Math and Science Now a Trend in South African Schools Date Published: October 29, 2020 South African schools are now witnessing worryingly low pass rates in...

Low Pass Rates in Math and Science Now a Trend in South African Schools

Date Published: October 29, 2020

South African schools are now witnessing worryingly low pass rates in math and science. Not only are very few students passing these subjects, but very few are taking these core engineering models to matric level. 

A study done by the Department of Education revealed that between 2015 and 2019, over 40 000 fewer students were taking core math. For physics, over 30 000 fewer students were taking the subject to matric level in the same time frame. 

What you need to know

Here is everything you need to know about the low pass rates in math and science as well as the number of students deciding not to take the subject to matric.

  • High unemployment rates have South Africans in need of scarce skills: With the level of unemployment so high in South Africa, it is essential to identify the skills needed in the community and encourage the youth of South Africa to move in that educational direction. If this is not done, more and more students will end up unemployed.
  • AI is a growing industry that requires these two subjects: Without proficiency in math and science, South Africa cannot begin to start it’s own AI industry. This industry also required mechanical or electronic engineers to run. With so few of these skills in South Africa, it is imperative that these low math and science marks are changed to allow students to further their tertiary education. 
  • Both the private and public sectors must help in skills development: Both the private and public sector are responsible for helping the youth of South Africa achieve the best marks possible in math and science. It will be through these very initiatives that levels of unemployment could drop and students could find their way into tertiary education.
  • Shocking results in 2019 show the low pass rates in Math and Science: In 2019, 45% of students who wrote their mathematics exam, failed. Only 28% of matrics in 2019 went on to write their mathematics exam. The pass rate for mathematics has been lowered to 30%.
  • Without mathematics, students might not access university courses: Students may not get into university without having taken mathematics or passed it as a subject. This leaves many students unable to access forms of tertiary education that are in demand in South Africa. Ultimately, this will lead to more unemployment.

Author: Andrea Frisby 

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