Johannesburg - The Annual National Assessments (ANA) results released on Thursday showed some promise, but there was room for improvement, the ANC said.
It said it agreed with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga that interventions were beginning to yield results, but stressed that much still needed to be done.
“The African National Congress is pleased with the improvements recorded, particularly in the field of literacy,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
“The ANC remains concerned however by the reported decline in the numeracy achievement levels tested by ANA, particularly in higher grades.”
Releasing the results in Pretoria, Motshekga said Grade Nine was the weak link in the education system. It showed no movement from the 43 percent scored in language last year, with a drop of two percent for the score in the first additional language, she said in Pretoria.
In mathematics the national average was 14 percent, compared to 13 percent in 2012.
The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA agreed with the ANC that more needed to be done. The union's president Basil Manuel expressed disquiet over a drop in the numeracy standards in Grade One.
“With almost universal access to Grade R, it would be expected that this should have a positive impact on performance in Grade One, but this appears not to have happened,” he said in a statement.
Manuel said he was concerned over the current group of Grade Nine pupils and called for targeted intervention to help them better prepare for life after high school.
“If this did not happen, the Matric Class of 2016 could be a disaster.”