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What The Maths & Science Teaching Crisis Means For Learners



What The Maths & Science Teaching Crisis Means For Learners

Considering that only a small number of learners are passing crucial subjects, the question of whether teachers are adequately trained to provide quality education in classrooms has received a lot of attention lately.

What The Maths & Science Teaching Crisis Means For Learners

STEM subjects, particularly Maths and Science, have long been challenged by the lack of qualified teachers.

There is a shortage of qualified mathematics teachers and teaching methods, according to education experts, which may explain the decline in learner performance in STEM subjects.

In a recent study presented to parliament, 43.3% of High School Maths and Science Heads of Departments are equipped to provide adequate support to teachers.

According to the study, more than half of the country’s high school math and science head teachers lack suitable qualifications in these fields, while most majored in history or geography.

This finding, along with the 30% maths pass rate requirement, has been identified as a major reason why South Africans cannot graduate with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) subjects.

According to Dr Corrin Varady, CEO of ed-tech platform IDEA, part of the problem is that the basic education system heavily focuses on passing rates, particularly in math and science.

According to Varady, the greater crisis is the lack of effort being made to promote higher education rights and develop highly qualified individuals.

  • There was a movement that said that if we are not performing very well in Maths and Science, then perhaps we should allow students to not do those subjects. There’s a responsibility that is beyond just teachers in making sure that our students are prepared to take on the world. 
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“Maths and Science may not be the top subjects students are achieving in, but they are certainly important because they provide the higher-order thinking processes we will need later in life.”

According to Varady, if teachers have fantastic teaching styles, they will be able to fill the gap in subject matter knowledge and help the country with its current shortage.

Angie Motshekga, the Basic Education Minister, says the country has been successful in developing math and science over the years.

Nevertheless, she has instructed her department to redirect some of the excess funds from the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme towards maths and science.  Furthermore, the minister noted that the department is responsible for teacher development in the Higher Education sector.

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