Matrics Show Concerning Maths Failure Rate In 2020

There has been a decline in the number of matriculants who write and pass mathematics in South Africa, particularly in schools across the country. Individuals in the education sector are now taking the initiative to find solutions to the issue. 

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Just 53.8% of the 233 315 Matric pupils who wrote Maths passed the subject. A total of 125 526 of the 2020 matrics managed to score the 30% and above pass mark. This showed that nearly half of all matriculants who wrote Maths failed it each year.

Last month, Maths teachers and professors held a conference in Limpopo to discuss how pupils can be helped.

Professor Chuene, from the University of Limpopo, indicated that the teachers' attitude and approach to teaching the subject can impact a learner's ability to pass. Citing a teacher who uses an unconventional method of creating songs out of his lessons for his Maths pupils:

The symposium showed that the enthusiasm of a teacher can lead the learners to pass because in the audience we had a teacher whose learners like mathematics because he creates songs out of the ideas that he is teaching.

"For me, that was something that was interesting because the youth likes songs, so he would use the rhythms of the songs that relate to their traditions to coil in the math concepts in them, then as they sing they sing they would be learning Mathematics and they would be learning the ideas to remember"

Chuene also emphasized the importance of pedagogical knowledge for teachers as part of the solution. A term that refers an approach to teaching, is the theory and practice of learning, and how this process influences, and is influenced by, the social, political and psychological development of learners.

We had another professor who talked about knowledge that teachers should have for teaching, which is very important. Teachers need knowledge that they should have for teaching and in the literature field, they call in it pedagogical content knowledge.

"You need to have the right content and you need to have the right pedagogy. So you may have the right content as a teacher but if you don't have the right pedagogy it may not be fruitful for you to be a teacher", she added.   

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