December 13, 2018


The inflated value of maths


Starting now, South Africa’s pupils will be able to obtain as little as 20 percent   in mathematics in Grades 7, 8 and 9 and still progress to the next year of learning. This has been touted by many as evidence of an alleged inexorable decline in educational standards. The country is already known for its poor performance in international standardised assessments in mathematics. This latest move may be misconstrued as condoning such poor achievement. But the truth is a little more complex. For Grades 7 and 8 – when pupils should be between 14 and 15 years of age –…

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‘Don’t make maths flops repeat’


Many South Africans were outraged by the recent announcement that for 2016, pupils in grades 7 to 9 could progress to the next grade with only 20 percent in mathematics. The usual minimum has been 40 percent, provided that all other requirements for promotion are met. Pupils with less than 30 percent in mathematics in grade 9 must take mathematical literacy   (this involves what the department of basic education calls “the use of elementary mathematical content” and is not the same as mathematics) as a matric subject. Public concern is understandable. South Africans should be deeply worried about the state of…

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SANCO urges South Africans to respect for the constitution

Letters to the Editor The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) urges South Africans to respect the constitution and recommit themselves to unite and strive to uphold the values that are enshrined in it. As the supreme law, our 20-year-old constitution gives expression to our common identity including the diversity that we need to treasure and value to overcome past injustices, prejudices as well as the apartheid legacy of deprivation and inequality. Efforts must be redoubled to ensure that all citizens including lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities enjoy their constitutional rights. Government has to take the lead to…

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