Pupils in the Western Cape have shown an increase in their Mathematics and Physical Science academic performance. Photo: Pexels
Pupils in the Western Cape have shown an increase in their Mathematics and Physical Science academic performance. Photo: Pexels

Cape’s maths and physics academic performance improves

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Apr 28, 2021

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Pupils in the Western Cape have shown an improvement in their maths and physical Science academic performance.

This was revealed at a provincial parliament meeting. According to the DA Western Cape spokesperson on Education, Lorraine Botha, the average maths and physical science pass rates from Grade 9 to Grade 12 have increased significantly over the last seven years.

“Pupils passing maths have shot up by 47%, while an encouraging increase of 27% is recorded for science.

“I have further enquired from the provincial Minister of Education, Debbie Schäfer, on what the department is doing to promote the uptake of these vitally important subjects between these grades,” Botha said.

Some of the interventions put in place to get this positive outcome include:

– Currently, all schools offer free access to Siyavula Mathematics and Physical Sciences software.

– Teachers are offered mentorship courses to enhance teaching performance in these subject areas.

– The WCED in collaboration with the Cape Town Science Centre offers support programmes directly to learners and teachers.

– The department is developing a strategy to encourage a positive mindset towards maths, building on adjusted curriculum and encouraging problem-solving skills.

“Maths and science are vital subject choices for future careers and are prerequisites for entrance at TVET-colleges and for many courses at universities. With this in mind, we must continue to support the provision of these subjects and quality education,” said Botha.

However, the shadow minister said she was concerned that the national government’s budget cuts would affect the work being done by the WCED.

“This comes as a result of the budget cut of 3.8% in the maths and science conditional grant, along with the 2% decrease inequitable share provision to the province. Funds have to follow the needs of learners, otherwise, provinces will continue to be limited in their education efforts,” Botha concluded.

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