Johannesburg -

The basic education department should identify and copy the best practices for teaching science and maths, the DA said on Monday, shortly after the release of the annual national assessment (ANA) results.

Democratic Alliance education spokeswoman Annette Lovemore said her party welcomed the improvement in literacy and maths results in the lower grades, but was concerned about Grade Six and Grade Nine pupils' poor maths performance.

“Mathematics scores get progressively worse the higher the grade,” she said.

“The average for mathematics for Grade One was 68 percent, while the average for Grade Six and Grade Nine are 27 percent and 13 percent respectively.”

Lovemore said urgent intervention was required to stop the pattern continuing.

According to the ANA, the national average mark obtained by Grade Three pupils in literacy is 52 percent this year, up from 35 percent last year; and 41 percent in maths, up from 28 percent in 2011.

Grade Six literacy was 43 percent in home language and 36 percent in first additional language.

The mark for mathematics in Grade Six was 27 percent, down three percent from last year.

Grade Nine pupils scored an average mark of 13 percent in maths this year.

Lovemore said there were models available to improve the results of Grade Six and Grade Nine pupils.

She would write to basic education portfolio committee chairwoman Hope Malgas to reiterate the importance of finding and implementing better ways of teaching maths and science.

“Emphasis must be placed on attaining and recommending best practice methods from successful school interventions,” said Lovemore.

The ANA is a testing programme which requires all schools to conduct the same, grade-specific language and maths tests for Grade One to Grade Six pupils, and for Grade Nines. - Sapa