_: Maths and Science came under the spotlight at the district directors’ meeting held in Kievients Kroon, Pretoria, on 5 August.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga met with District Directors to review a progress of schools in terms of learner performance in maths and science. The meeting is part of the monthly interaction between the officials and the Minister where strategies are reviewed for better results.
The districts that obtained a low pass rate in maths and science in 2012 are expected to improve in the subjects in this year’s National Senior Certificate Examinations. There is a glimmer of hope as the Grade 12 results from mid year exams show improvement.
It emerged in the meeting that some challenges were still being faced particularly the shortage of maths and science teachers. The district directors, however, assured the Minister that various partnerships were being explored to boost capacity and avail resources to aid maths and science teaching.
Limpopo’s Vhembe district director, Dr Nthambeleni Rambiyana informed the Minister that his district cooperate with University of Venda and Vuwani Science Centre to develop maths and science teachers in the province. It is hoped that this partnership would eventually result in a sustained high pass rate in these two subjects.
Learner assessment remains an integral part of evaluating the progress that is being made in the classroom. It is all systems go for the Annual National Assessments which take place in September involving seven million learners. For the first time this year the department would be assessing learners from Grade one to six and nine.
The assessments have been utilised to enhance quality learning and teaching with intension to improve the level of literacy and numeracy in this country.
Minister Motshekga said the department would establish Maths, Science and Technology (MST) office at national level to support quality teaching and learning for these gateway subjects (maths and science).
The Minister said DBE was in talks with the Department of Higher Education and Training to ensure that more maths and science teachers are recruited urgently.